Virginia Republicans want the state Supreme Court to reverse the action of Governor Terry McAuliffe after he issued an executive order restoring voting rights of more than 206,000 felons in April.
The suit claims the Constitution of Virginia does not allow the use of executive authority in the matter.
“The Constitution of Virginia forbids this unprecedented assertion of executive authority,” the filing states. “Governor McAuliffe’s executive order defies the plain text of the Constitution, flouts the separation of powers, and has no precedent in the annals of Virginia history. The Governor simply may not, with a stroke of the pen, unilaterally suspend and amend the Constitution.”
McAuliffe countered the lawsuit’s statement regarding the Constitution.
“The Constitution of Virginia grants the Governor ample authority to restore the rights of people who have served their time, and does not place any limitation on that authority that would be relevant to the issue at stake in this lawsuit,” McAuliffe stated.