Circuit Court: Felons can be prevented from voting even if felons are disproportionately minorities
The plaintiffs sued the state in November 2000.
Judge Jose A. Cabranes, who voted with the majority in the 8-5 ruling, said there were "persuasive reasons'' to believe Congress did not intend the Voting Rights Act to cover laws passed to prevent prisoners and parolees from voting in New York elections.
He noted that every state except Maine and Vermont bans felons from voting.
Though the ruling related to elections in New York state, Cabranes acknowledged the issue has relevance nationwide and that "absent Congressional clarification, will only be definitively resolved by the Supreme Court.'' . . .
Minor aside: I recently debated this issue a few weeks ago in front of 1,700 high school students in Illinois. One of the phrases that bother me the most in this debate is referring to people as ex-felons once they are released from prison. The problem is that once a felon, you are always a felon unless your record is expunged.