(ABCNEWS.GO) — Virginia Republicans said Monday that they will ask the state's highest court to block more than 200,000 felons from voting in November, arguing that Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe abused his power by restoring the voting rights of thousands of convicts who've completed their sentences.
In a lawsuit GOP leaders are filing in the Virginia Supreme Court, they say McAuliffe violated the separation of powers by effectively suspending the state's ban on voting by felons. They say McAuliffe is ignoring decades of practice, which has made clear that governors can restore voting rights only on a case-by-case basis.
"Gov. McAuliffe's executive order defines the plain text of the Constitution, flouts the separation of powers, and has no precedent in the annals of Virginia history. The governor simply may not, with the stroke of the pen, unilaterally suspend and amend the Constitution," their lawyers wrote in the suit.
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