The Corner

Holder Rallies Democratic Base

After a stay of some months or years in one of our scandalously violent and abusive prisons, and returning to an economy in which job prospects are not that great to begin with and much less so for convicted criminals, American felons face some serious problems. Eric Holder seems to think that the inability to vote in some states leads the list.

Of all the embarrassingly self-serving things that Democrats do, their solicitousness of the felon vote must be high on the list. Says Holder:

These restrictions are not only unnecessary and unjust, they are also counterproductive. By perpetuating the stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals, these laws increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes.

This Grade-A horsefeathers. Of all the stigmas attached to being a felon, surely banishment from the voting booth is not very high on the list. And given the relatively low rates at which Americans vote, it is difficult to see why or how an individual felon’s condition of disenfranchisement should be made public at all and thus produce a stigma.

There are very good reasons to bar felons from voting — punishment being one relevant one – and also good reasons for restoring their rights in some cases. Those are issues to be decided by the states. Mr. Holder’s Justice Department is doing a poor enough job managing what is legitimately in its jurisdiction that he oughtn’t go poking his nose into that which isn’t.

But there is no denying the political math: Enfranchising felons would add a great many Democratic voters to the rolls. What a coalition these Democrats are: government employees, welfare cases, union goons, abortion fanatics, criminals, and college professors — and a fair number of people who check more than one of those boxes.




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