The right to vote is the foundation of any democracy, yet nearly six million Americans are denied that right, in many cases for life, because they have been convicted of a crime. Some states disenfranchise more than 7 percent of their adult citizens.
In an unflinching speech before a civil rights conference Tuesday morning, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. described this shameful aspect of our justice system for what it is: a “profoundly outdated” practice that is unjust and counterproductive.http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/12/op...f=opinion&_r=0Felon disenfranchisement laws lie at the intersection of two issues on which Mr. Holder has become increasingly outspoken: criminal justice reform and voting rights. While he has no direct authority to change state laws, the weight of his words can help pave a path for legislative action in both Congress and statehouses around the country.
It's about goddamn time that such laws that fly hilariously in the face of the spirit of the constitution are confronted at the higher levels of government. While I doubt there's currently any political momentum to create Federal laws that overturn state disenfranchisement laws, maybe this will help start the public dialogue needed to do so. Voter disenfranchisement laws are are an utter travesty.