State felon voting ban upheld

By The Associated Press

The Associated Press
JACKSON – A federal appeals court has upheld the dismissal of lawsuit filed by the ACLU, which claimed convicted felons in Mississippi were being denied their constitutional right to vote in presidential elections.
A Mississippi federal judge had dismissed the case in March 2009.
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Thursday the state of Mississippi can write restrictions on voting into its constitution, including a ban on voting for certain felons.
The ACLU contended the state constitution allows felons to vote for president, even though Mississippi residents convicted of some crimes are prohibited from casting ballots in other elections.
The 5th Circuit panel said Mississippi’s law and constitution clearly ban voting by convicted felons in all elections. The ban, the panel said, does not violate federal election laws.
The Mississippi Constitution lists 21 crimes that take away a convict’s right to vote: arson, armed robbery, bigamy, bribery, embezzlement, extortion, felony bad check, felony shoplifting, forgery, larceny, murder, obtaining money or goods under false pretense, perjury, rape, receiving stolen property, robbery, theft, timber larceny, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, statutory rape and carjacking.

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