The percentage of businesses that force their employees to pee in a cup is dropping - largely because it never made much sense in the first place The reason they can't vote is that they're felons. They're criminals, for Pete's sake. Of course they shouldn't have the right to vote. But why is that, exactly?
Fourteenth Amendment A couple of years ago, Virginia was embroiled in a noisy political dispute involving voting rights for ex-felons. All States except Vermont and Maine prohibit convicted felons from voting while they are incarcerated.
But Virginia and 10 other States: About a quarter of these are people who are currently in prison.
There's a fairly substantial body of case precedent on these issues as they pertain to sex offender statutes, and I had been digging into it for a while when it suddenly struck me that I hadn't seen any reference in those cases to cases on the constitutionality of State disenfranchisement laws.
Surely there must have been such cases, and, given how widespread disenfranchisement laws still were, the practice must have been upheld as constitutional. I needed to find those cases, because they could make it considerably more difficult to craft the argument s that I was trying to make; if the government can deprive the entire class of ex-convicts of a fundamental right to votethat could be a strong basis on which the State could argue that it can constitutionally deprive a subset of the class of ex-convicts - those who had been convicted of "sex offenses" - of their fundamental rights to assemble with others, to speak, to live where they choose.
I needed to find them, also, because I was straining to imagine how courts could possibly have upheld the constitutionality of State felon-disenfranchisement laws.
There is surely no more fundamental right in a republic than the right to vote, and, ordinarily, governmental deprivations of fundamental rights receive the strictest judicial scrutiny: The government must show that it is pursuing a "compelling" interest, that the action it has taken is necessary to achieve its purpose, and that it has been "narrowly tailored" to that end, i.
What is the compelling interest being served by depriving people who had felony convictions of their right to vote? How could the States' meat-ax approach of disenfranchising all felons alike - bank robbers, murderers, car thieves, drug sellers, con artists, embezzlers, counterfeiters, etc.
What is its purpose? I quickly discovered that there had indeed been cases challenging the constitutionality of felon disenfranchisement, and they turned on one of those Constitutional provisions hardly anyone ever looks at or thinks about.
Everyone knows or at least knows of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment: Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.
But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
Ramirez, US 24the Supreme Court held that the language in Section 2 italicized above assumes that States can deny its citizens the right to vote, inasmuch as it specifies the consequences in the event they do so: Their representation in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College will be correspondingly and proportionately reduced by the number of people so deprived of the right, unless the disenfranchisement is for "participation in rebellion" or "other crime," in which case the State's numerical basis for its representation is not reduced.
The purpose of Sec. The first sentence repeals the notorious "three-fifths clause" of Art. This would substantially increase the relevant size of the southern States, and Radical Republicans were concerned about that, and about the likelihood that the southern States would not permit those freed slaves to vote.
Hence the second sentence: States could disenfranchise people for reasons other than their participation in rebellion "or other crime" - e. The conclusion seems inescapable: Which explains why there were no citations to the disenfranchisement cases in the cases involving abridgements of sex offenders' rights to live and work and speak and assemble.The paper will argue that felons should have the right to vote, the fundamental right of any individual, as there is a need to disconnect disenfranchisement from criminal punishment.
Since the Voting Rights Act of , there has been a significant increase of voters at the polls. Convicted felons should be given the right to vote only after they have completed a probationary period of 10 years after their final sentencing/punishment.
3 years ago from a Constitution in Bel Air North, MD. The first civil rights legislation to reach Phil Murphy’s desk once he becomes governor may be a bill that will give convicted felons the right to vote, whether they are on parole, probation, or.
Florida’s 13 million voters have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help convicted felons who have paid their debt to society earn the right to vote, and to a second chance.
Called the. The right of speech, as citizens we have, is the ability to voice your personal opinion and if felons have that right, they should be able to voice out their opinions through are government as well. In 30 states, convicted felons lose the right to be jurists. Felons and Citizenship Although the right to vote and to participate in due process may seem essential to citizenship, the right to citizenship is one right the courts have not been able to take away from convicted felons.