Thursday, October 29, 2020
Michael Gentithes (University of Akron School of Law) has posted Felony Disenfranchisement and the Nineteenth Amendment (Akron Law Review, Vol. 53, 2020) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Today’s arguments in support of felony disenfranchisement laws bear striking similarities to the arguments of anti-suffragists more than a century earlier. Both suggest that a traditionally subordinated class of citizens is inherently incapable of bearing the responsibility that the right to vote entails.17 Both argue that some potential votes are somehow less worthy than others, and thus the authors of those votes ought to be excluded from the marketplace of political ideas. And both assert a distinction between the votes of some citizens thought to be of higher political value, and those thought unworthy of having their voices counted in the political arena. This Article examines the historical response to those arguments and suggests that they can be applied forcefully in the contemporary debate over felony disenfranchisement.