On Friday, February 22, 2013, at 9:30 AM, United States District Judge John Gibney will hear oral arguments on the restoration of rights lawsuit brought by civil and Human Rights Activist, Sa’ad El-Amin. The hearing will be conducted in Judge Gibney’s courtroom located in the Spottswood W. Robinson III and Robert R. Merhige, Jr., Federal Courthouse, 701 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219. The upcoming hearing was rescheduled from February 1, 2013 on the Judge's Order.
US Judge To Hear Arguments on Restoration of Rights Lawsuit on Feb 22, 2013
The case challenges the constitutionality of a provision of the Virginia Constitution, which prohibits those convicted of felonies to vote unless and until their rights have been restored by the Governor of Virginia.
In his argument El-Amin will present to the Court irrefutable evidence of Virginia’s history of disenfranchising the African-American vote beginning with Virginia’s 1869 Constitutional Convention. This history puts Virginia in the precise legal position that Alabama found itself which was on the losing side of a 1985 United States Supreme Court case, Hunter v. Underwood.
Governor McDonnell who is a principal defendant in the lawsuit recently requested the General Assembly to pass legislation for automatic restoration of the voting rights of persons convicted of nonviolent felonies. The request was rejected by the House of Delegates leaving this lawsuit as the only hope of changing the law.
The disenfranchisement provision has an adverse impact on African Americans as evidenced by the Sentencing Project’s statistical evidence that shows that 54% of the voters disenfranchised because of their felony status are African-Americans. This is a shocking and unconscionable over representation of Africans as we make up only 19% of the population.
You can find a complete description of the case including all of the documents filed in the case on El-Amin’s website, restoremyvotingrights.com. We ask that as many people attend the hearing to demonstrate to Judge Gibney the strong community support for this issue.
If you plan to attend the hearing be certain to leave all electronic devices in your car because they cannot be carried into the courthouse. Also, court security will not allow you to leave them at the security checkpoint.
Your support is greatly appreciated. Please share this with your contacts and networks: