Virginia Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. announced Thursday that he’ll introduce a constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights for some nonviolent felons, create new barriers for others, and strip future governors of the power to restore political rights.

On Tuesday the Virginia Supreme Court heard arguments in a suit challenging Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s (D) April order that restored voting rights to 200,000 Virginians with past felony convictions. While the court proceedings will stick to legal arguments, the public debate has been needlessly rancorous and partisan.

Los Angeles County probation Chief Jerry Powers said he hasn't heard the question over allowing low-level felons to vote posed better than by his 12-year-old son: "Dad, what part of voting makes us less safe?"

Felons who've served their time and want their voting rights restored won't have to pay outstanding court costs anymore as part of the deal, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday.

A Florida campaign to restore voting rights to an estimated 2 million residents—mostly low-income people of color who have felony convictions on their record but never even were imprisoned—could be a political game changer in that influential state.

James W. Ray sat silently in the front row of the church meeting room, rubbing his eyes. Ray wasn’t mourning a loss. Rather, the Vietnam veteran and felon wept over something that had just been returned to him — the right to vote.

DES MOINES, Iowa - The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a lawsuit on behalf of Kelli Jo Griffin, an Iowa mom who is striving to regain her right to vote. Griffin lost her voting rights in 2008 following a nonviolent drug conviction. She completed her probation but is no longer allowed to vote due to that conviction.

Mercedies Harris strolls down the halls of the Hollaback and Restore Project, a felon rehabilitation center in rural Virginia, and points to a baby-faced 18-year-old with a timid gait. “This is a fine young gentleman who got into a little trouble,” he explains. “And we are working with him to try to stop him from being a statistic and being incarcerated and having a record. He’s going to learn to be a barista. And if he gets good, he’ll be known for it,” he chuckles. “People will be coming here to get his coffee.”

Latest ERA News

  • 1
  • 2

Latest News

  • Trump administration's voter suppression attempts ahead of midterms are not only 'morally wrong,' they're illegal +

    Trump administration's voter suppression attempts ahead of midterms are not only 'morally wrong,' they're illegal Imagine going to the polls on Election Day and discovering that your ballot could be collected and reviewed by the Read More
  • ACLU Blueprints Offer Vision to Cut US Incarceration Rate in Half by Prioritizing 'People Over Prisons' +

    ACLU Blueprints Offer Vision to Cut US Incarceration Rate in Half by Prioritizing 'People Over Prisons' ACLU Blueprints Offer Vision to Cut US Incarceration Rate in Half by Prioritizing 'People Over Prisons' Read More
  • As Florence Makes Landfall, Poorest Once More Likely to Suffer Most From Storm's Destruction +

    As Florence Makes Landfall, Poorest Once More Likely to Suffer Most From Storm's Destruction "These disasters drag into the light exactly who is already being thrown away," notes Naomi Klein Read More
  • How about some good news? Kansas Democratic Representative advances bill for Native Peoples. +

    How about some good news? Kansas Democratic Representative advances bill for Native Peoples. How about some good news? Kansas Democratic Representative advances bill for Native Peoples. Read More
  • How One Dying Man Changed The Debate About The Tax Bill +

    How One Dying Man Changed The Debate About The Tax Bill What mattered was that he showed up — that he put himself in front of the people whose opinions on Read More
  • Democrats Just Won a Major Victory in Virginia +

    Democrats Just Won a Major Victory in Virginia On a night of Democratic victories, one of the most significant wins came in Virginia, where the party held onto Read More
  • Repealing the Jim Crow law that keeps 1.5 million Floridians from voting. +

    Repealing the Jim Crow law that keeps 1.5 million Floridians from voting. A seismic political battle that could send shockwaves all the way to the White House was launched last week in Read More
  • Nuclear Weapons: Who Pays, Who Profits? +

    Nuclear Weapons: Who Pays, Who Profits? In an interview with Reuters conducted a month after he took office, Donald Trump asserted that the U.S. had “fallen Read More
  • Sessions issues sweeping new criminal charging policy +

    Sessions issues sweeping new criminal charging policy Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned the sweeping criminal charging policy of former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. and directed Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Featured ERA News

  • Meryl Streep could get the Equal Rights Amendment passed, says Michael Moore +

    Meryl Streep could get the Equal Rights Amendment passed, says Michael Moore Meryl Streep, political leader? Director Michael Moore suggested onstage at the Toronto Film Festival premiere of his latest movie, “Where Read More
  • Now Is Our Time +

    Now Is Our Time Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state Read More
  • Meryl Streep Asks Congress to Revive the ERA +

    Meryl Streep Asks Congress to Revive the ERA No actor or actress can match Meryl Streep's 19 Academy Award nominations, and only Katharine Hepburn has bested her three Read More
  • Patricia Arquette (and All U.S. Women) Need ERA Now +

    Patricia Arquette (and All U.S. Women) Need ERA Now Now that Arquette has called out the naked emperor, the question is, who will provide the leadership to harness the Read More
  • Fearless Carla Cunningham and Introduction of ERA in NC +

    Fearless Carla Cunningham and Introduction of ERA in NC ERA is ‘in the air,’ according to the NC National Organization for Women. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is the Read More
  • Virginia still deciding if women are equal +

    Virginia still deciding if women are equal RICHMOND — In 1972, when Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment and asked states to ratify it, “The Godfather” was No. Read More
  • Virginia GOP Rescinds and then Passes the ERA +

    Virginia GOP Rescinds and then Passes the ERA UPDATE: On February 5th the Virginia Senate passed SJ 216 after rescinding passage on February 3rd. The status of the Read More
  • Letter to Legislators on the ERA - Don't Let Phyllis Schafly Fool You (Again) +

    Letter to Legislators on the ERA - Don't Let Phyllis Schafly Fool You (Again) The Illinois House is poised to vote on ratification of the ERA tomorrow before noon. Phyllis Schafly and her cronies Read More
  • Fight to ratify Equal Rights Amendment draws new interest +

    Fight to ratify Equal Rights Amendment draws new interest It's not just your mother or grandmother's fight. Thousands of women are expected to rally on the west lawn of Read More
  • 1
  • 2