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Tag: inmates


A right to vote for inmates? Get real, 9th Circuit

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Courtesy of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Gary “Green River Killer” Ridgway may soon enjoy the right to vote. And Robert Yates Jr., who also had a nasty habit of murder by the dozen.

And any number of other murderers, rapists and other predators now housed in Washington’s prisons.
That is the absurd result of a 9th Circuit Court panel decision Tuesday that ordered the state to let all inmates vote – on the grounds that some might be imprisoned as part of a pattern of racial discrimination.

State Attorney General Rob McKenna has already announced he will appeal this ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. It seems likely the high court will take an interest in it, because three other federal appeals courses have ruled to the contrary in similar cases.

Tuesday’s “Let Ridgway Vote” decision resulted from a long-running lawsuit filed by several Washington felons. Their lawyers persuaded two judges on a three-judge panel that the federal Voting Rights Act should void the Washington Constitution’s prohibition of inmate voting. Nearly every other state enforces a similar prohibition.
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