Does Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) Apply to Felon Disenfranchisement Laws?

  • Section 2 of the VRA Applies to Felon Disenfranchisement Laws

    While there is much disagreement about what's correct, I believe that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) does apply to Felon Disenfranchisement Laws. In 2006, Judge Sonia Sotomayor said that the VRA "applies to all voting qualifications." She continued by stating that "Section 2 of the Act by its unambiguous terms subjects felony disenfranchisement and all other voting qualifications to its coverage."

  • No, they are not a protected category.

    No, Section 2 of the VRA does not apply to felons, because felons are not a protected class. The way the law is written, discrimination cannot be based on gender or race, but status as a criminal offender is not a class that is protected. If legislators intended for them to be covered, they needed to have drafted the VRA in a different way.

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