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Jack Kemp says give rights back to felons..

Discussion in 'Legal' started by jsalcedo, Oct 19, 2005.

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  1. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Member

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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051018/ap_on_go_co/voting_rights

    Kemp Says Ex-Felons Should Be Able to Vote

    By JEFFREY McMURRAY,
    Associated Press Writer Tue Oct 18, 7:39 PM ET

    WASHINGTON - Jack Kemp, the former Republican vice presidential
    candidate and HUD secretary, urged Congress on Tuesday to require
    states to restore voting rights for felons once they complete their
    sentences.

    Kemp, who was Bob Dole's running mate in 1996, made the recommendation
    during the first in a series of hearings about the Voting Rights Act,
    which prohibits literacy tests, poll taxes and other infringements on
    minority voting.

    Some key provisions of the 40-year-old law expire in 2007. One
    requires areas with a history of discrimination to get federal
    approval before changing their election laws.

    Congress is expected to extend that provision for 25 years, but the
    House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution is trying
    to determine whether the law should be tweaked.

    Rep. Jerrold Nadler (news, bio, voting record), D-N.Y., stirred the
    lone moment of dissent among witnesses with his suggestion that
    Congress should amend the act to guarantee voting rights for
    ex-felons.

    "It's important, if we're going to call ourselves a democracy, that
    everybody more or less have the right to vote," Nadler said.

    Kemp quickly endorsed the idea, pointing out that minorities are
    disproportionately charged with felonies.

    "My answer is unambiguously yes," said Kemp, a former congressman from
    New York, one of a handful of states that restores voting rights to
    criminals once they complete their prison term or probation. "It is a
    restriction that needs to be modified."

    Former Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Rogers, a member of a national commission
    on the Voting Rights Act, disagreed. He said states should be able to
    set their own requirements and argued that the number of felons isn't
    high enough to influence elections.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    If drunk driving was a felony - as it should be - then millions of
    white people would be felons and we wouldn't even be debating this.
     
  2. GTSteve03

    GTSteve03 Member

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    More felonies + no gun ownership for felons + no voting = lots less pesky rights you have to dole out to your grateful citizenship. :rolleyes:
     
  3. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    Felons voting = democrats retake Florida and many other states.

    Just so you know. We are talking about disenfranchising the looter class that dwells in the public housing projects, not stock traders that got caught using a hot stock tip. If you have the money, you can always use the courts to have your rights restored.

    Disenfranchising felons is the first step towards fixing what is wrong with America. It may not seem fair, but neither is the welfare state we are paying for.
     
  4. GTSteve03

    GTSteve03 Member

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    I'm glad to see that my rights are proportional to the size of my bank account.

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, except if they've gone to jail for a felony."
     
  5. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    I understand the principle you are expressing, but you are seriously naive if you think this is some money test for voting like a poll tax. This is about removing the worst of the welfare rats from the political scene. These people are not only on the dole but committing serious crimes as well. If, even after the NOLA disaster, you cannot see why this is a good safeguard to have, then there is really no point in explaining it to you.

    If anything, we should amend the constitution so that anyone receiving an entitlement in the past 5 years cannot vote. It is all about taking away the ability of politcians to bribe the voters with their own money. End that and you end socialism forever.
     
  6. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

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    I like that you quote the declaration of independance as though it were some kind of law-giving document. If you would take the time to consult an ACTUAL legal document, like say the CONSTITUTION, you would see that the right to vote is NOT an inalianable human right. It is the only enumerated right that comes with a list of conditions. Those conditions includs being a "citizen" and being of a certain age and also mention that they must not be criminals.

    article XIV
    Subsequent amendments to the constitution enumerated various criteria that could *not* be used by the states to determine the right to vote. Those include sex, race, religion and creed. Beyond that it is well within the limits of the constitution that there be qualifications on who is allowed to vote.
     
  7. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    If anything, I think Illinois needs a bar on voting for felons and dead people.
     
  8. Augustwest

    Augustwest Member

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    So individual rights be danged, we'll only do something about it if it affects our chances of being elected... :banghead:
     
  9. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    I'd be in favor of a _process_ that can ultimately lead to restoration of full citizenship rights, so that the motivated and truly reformed could get back into the game, but I'd not hand it out automatically at the jailhouse gate.

    Say, X years of good behavior, or a grand jury panel that felons could appeal to every so often.

    Alternately, we could make a finding of a jury necessary for stripping of citizen's rights as a separate phase of conviction.
     
  10. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

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    This process exists at the state level, and it includes the right to bear arms as well.
     
  11. GTSteve03

    GTSteve03 Member

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    Based on your quote then anyone who has ever committed any crime should be barred from voting. Which I think most anyone would say is a rather preposterous position to take. However, barring felons seems to be a much more defensible stance, until you take into account how many new crimes and older crimes are being re-classified as felonies, making the pool of ineligble voters much larger until we do in fact get very close to the original, IMHO preposterous idea that all criminals should be barred from voting.

    But hey, I'm not a rich politician so it really doesn't matter what I think anyhoo. :banghead:
     
  12. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    I always figured that if you don't respect the laws of our country, that you shouldn't be allowed to fully participate.
    I don't have a problem with a system to restore some rights, but there should be a some time period after the sentence is carried out (5 years?) and it should not be automatic, IMHO. As long as punishment for many offenses do not fit the crime, I will not favor going easy on felons. That needs to be changed first.

    On the welfare part, I would say that you should not be able to vote if you personally take 1 penny more from the govt than you pay in taxes (after deductions, rebates, tax returns, etc.). I think that should apply to govt jobs as well.
     
  13. Mk VII

    Mk VII Member

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    Here, the European Court of Human Rights has just ordered us to let the convicts in the jails vote.
     
  14. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    This process also exists at the federal level (re: right to bear arms) and authority has been assigned to BATFE. However, Congress has also prohibited BATFE from using any funds to engage in this process.

    Catch-22
     
  15. Chrontius

    Chrontius Member

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    Like paying damages of about six billion dollars for one iPod worth of music off of Kazaa? Or criminal charges for Windows (default settings, even) 'hacking' a gaping, wide-open wireless network announcing free wi-fi for all? Yeah, the punishment really should fit the crime.

    I'd *hate* to be in the millitary if you were president. I'd also hate to be in the gun industry, since getting a government contract could be interpreted as being in government employ.
     
  16. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    We already have millions of criminals voting. They just never got caught. What's a few more? If one has completed parole, what's the argument against returning to full citizenship? Overcrowded prisons is not a controlling argument.
     
  17. Gunsnrovers

    Gunsnrovers Member

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    Seems like a catch 22. Once you have served your punishment, your rights should be restored. However, we have a system that has very screwed up punishments.

    Can you fix one issue without addressing the other?
     
  18. mec

    mec Member

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    "Here, the European Court of Human Rights has just ordered us to let the convicts in the jails vote"

    Our democrat party has been pushing the same thing here. They figure it's a ready-made voting block for their party.
     
  19. Waitone

    Waitone Member

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    Lovely. :scrutiny:
     
  20. pcf

    pcf Member

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    Oh dear, we'll have disenfranchised voters from all over, flooding the polling places, waiting to perform there civic duty of voting. Just like the "vote or die" MTV generation did in 2004. You know, flooding the polling places, getting the vote out. Without the MTV generation, Democrats would have lost big in 2004.

    Funny thing about civic duties, people that skip one tend to skip them all, without the government's help or restriction. If ex-felons could vote, how many would? I'd wager very few. As a whole we're lucky to get 50% of the "law abiding" to a polling place. Apathy.

    Hell, if the people are so worried about what ex-felons might do at the polls, let it be their motivation to go and vote as well. It would be a good dose of what this country needs. Being concerned and having to make an educated, responsible vote may be the beginning of the end for us all. It's fear mongering, Congress will have to convene a joint committee to do a study on it, not healthy. Moreover, political activism because one wishes to protect his interest, won't bode well for the new totalitarian state or the United Nations.

    Supposedly, we convict people in courts for their crimes, sentence them to a punishment. The legislature sets out the guidelines that the courts operate under. Except when it fits in our "greater good", then it's acceptable for the legislature and courts to do an end-run around each others specified powers.
     
  21. pcf

    pcf Member

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    My Enemy's enemy is my friend

    Voting Felons could be a blessing in disguise. They would help further Libertarian interest by ending and reducing a growing Police-State, ease restriction on gun control, and end the War on Drugs.
     
  22. lostone1413

    lostone1413 Member

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    HEY KEMP YOU JERK!!
    How about being worried about the rights us NON FELONS have lost! Try looking at Campaign Reform, Homeland Security, Patroit Act. After 911 how safe are we with over 1 million illegals a year just coming across the border? Say and while you are at it you JERK seems the Constitution had something in it called a Bill Of Rights. Seems in that Bill Of Rights their was something called a 2nd amendment. Your just like the rest of the A**holes that run the country. You could care less about the common man!!!!!!!!
     
  23. thorn726

    thorn726 Member

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    HEY UNinformed masses

    MANY
    states already allow felons to vote.
    CA law says on the reg from-
    "you are not IN prison or on parole"

    notice it does not mention previous convictions, or YES, even jail- in JAIL Californians can vote.

    HEY- felons still pay taxes!!! they are still alive, if they are in society they have every right to vote.
    some info from antoher site=

    especially considering how many minor things are felonies these days.

    PS- all you guys who routinely commit carry or other felonies (maybe you got a gun you shouldnt , etc)
    YOU ARE STILL FELONS. you might not be CONVICTED felons, but you are felons
     
  24. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

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    Your calling a direct quote from the U.S. Constitution a "position"? :uhoh:

    What the passage means is that anyone who has ever commited a crime *CAN* be barred from voting, deciding which crimes qualify is a matter of legislation.
     
  25. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    I wouldn't be too smug about quoting the Constitution. That phrase can mean anything a legal eagle wants it to mean. If I have a traffic ticket, where does that leave me? It doesn't say felony. If I participate on a forum that never has anything nice to say about government, often proposing some pretty radical action, am I participating in a rebellion? Who defines "rebellion"? There has to be a lot of faith in the court's interpretation, and we know where that gets us.

    If I served my time or paid the fine for a crime, when if ever am I free of it. Should you just shoot me like the dog that bites?

    Citizens of the Confederacy, participants in a rebellion, did not lose their right, make that privilege, to vote.
     
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