Republicans in Virginia filed a lawsuit Monday to block an executive order by Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe that extends voting rights to more than 200,000 convicted felons.
The lawsuit claims that McAuliffe didn't have the authority to issue the executive order, which allows felons who have served their prison time and finished parole to register to vote, The Washington Post reported.
“From Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson to Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats confront 'Rubik's cube on steroids' Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Emissions heading toward pre-pandemic levels The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - What do Manchin and Sinema want? MORE and Bob McDonnell, every Governor of Virginia has understood the clemency power to authorize the Governor to grant clemency on an individualized basis only,” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit was filed in the Virginia Supreme Court on behalf of leaders of the state's House and Senate, including House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment (R-James City) and four Virginia voters.
Republicans have argued that the order, issued in April, would benefit Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHeller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 MORE.
McAuliffe, a former Democratic National Committee chairman who ran Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, has since defended the order, telling Republicans to "quit complaining."
"Quit complaining and go out and earn these folks' right to vote for you. Go out and talk to them," he said.
He called the order restoring voting rights to felons "morally the right thing to do."
Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE last month attacked McAuliffe, calling the governor's order "crooked politics."