RICHMOND — Virginia’s highest court on Thursday turned down a request from Republicans to find Gov. Terry McAuliffe in contempt of court over his efforts to restore voting rights to felons.
The ruling clears the way for McAuliffe (D) to continue a fast-paced effort to grant clemency to 200,000 violent and nonviolent felons. It also gives McAuliffe at least a temporary win in one of the most bitter battles of his administration, in which he has repeatedly called Republicans racists while the GOP has accused him of administrative bumbling and violating the law.
“I am pleased that the Supreme Court has dismissed the case Republicans filed in their latest attempt to prevent individuals who have served their time having a full voice in our society,” McAuliffe said in a written statement. “It is my hope that the court’s validation of the process we are using will convince Republicans to drop their divisive efforts to prevent Virginians from regaining their voting rights and focus their energy and resources on making Virginia a better place to live for the people who elected all of us to lead.”