The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Friday granted the State’s summary judgment motion on substantive and procedural due process challenges to Virginia’s voter reinstatement process for convicted felons, as well as an Eighth Amendment challenge to the disenfranchisement of felons as cruel and unusual punishment. The court did, however, deny summary judgment on El-Amin’s Equal Protection challenge of lifetime felon disenfranchisement in Virginia.
Plaintiff Sa’ad El-Amin argues that Virginia’s felony disenfranchisement laws were enacted to discriminate against black citizens. Thus, despite the facially neutral language of Art. II, § 1 of the Virginia Constitution, El-Amin contends that the alleged discriminatory intent makes Virginia voter qualifications constitutionally deficient under the 14th Amendment.