Thomas Gallatin / July 25, 2016

Court Rules No Blanket Clemency for Ex-Felons

McAuliffe’s attempt to turn Virginia blue is thwarted. For now.

The Virginia Supreme Court ruled on Friday against Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s unprecedented unilateral action of restoring voting rights to more than 200,000 ex-felons. Responding to the ruling, Virginia House Speaker William Howell, a Republican, said, “Our nation was founded on the principles of limited government and separation of powers. Those principles have once again withstood assault from the executive branch. This opinion is a sweeping rebuke of the governor’s unprecedented assertion of executive authority.”

The court ruled 4-3 against the governor, calling his argument for his decision “overstated at best.” Virginia law gives the governor the authority to grant clemency on a case-by-case basis, which the court found did not justify McAuliffe’s blanket pardoning action. McAuliffe was attempting to take a page out of Barack Obama’s playbook, with his similar executive action on immigration — knowing the courts would strike it down, he still got political credit with a key constituency. Democrats seem to have a hard time when it comes to playing by the rules, as Hillary Clinton and her personal server attest to.

But not to be thwarted, McAuliffe has already declared that he will now seek to grant clemency by personally signing each of the 200,000 plus individual pardon orders. It will be interesting to see how he will meet the “particulars of every case and state his reasons for each pardon” as the law requires. The court should easily see through this charade as well.

This was and always has been a play for more Democrat votes. Virginia was once staunchly conservative, but it has become a swing state. And this current election is no different, as Virginia is once again in play for both parties. Does anyone really believe that McAuliffe would have taken this unprecedented action if it were primarily Republican votes in play?

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service, are proud sponsors of the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Folds of Honor, Honoring the Sacrifice, Warrior Freedom Service Dogs, Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, the Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation.


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.