Finally, back to my favorite topic of conversation. Logical fallacies….
Hours ago, the Maryland Senate voted to overturn Governor Hogan’s veto of a voting rights bill which would allow felons on parole and probation to vote. Governor Hogan was right to veto the bill in the first place, and let me explain why.
Under the previous law, someone who was convicted of a crime that involved incarceration, parole, or probation was not allowed to register to vote. As soon as their full sentence was completed, meaning the individual was not on parole/probation, the individual could register to vote.
Under the new law, an individual can vote while serving out their parole or probation sentence.
Many proponents have pointed to numerous “facts” about reintegration, which the skilled scholar Walter Olson has already thoroughly refuted. But let’s break this down further: The right to vote has been established as a right enshrined in the Constitution, with expansions to include women and minorities.
So where does the fallacy lie, Eric? You’re just rambling about Constitutional Rights and some other hogwash….
If criminals have their Constitutional right to vote, should they have full restoration of all their Constitutional rights to help integrate them into society? Yes, I can hear you asking for examples:
- Freedom of Movement: People on parole and probation are restricted from leaving the state unless approved by their supervising officer.
- Freedom of Assembly: People on parole and probation are restricted from associating with other felons. They are also restricted from contact with the victim in their case.
- Second Amendment: People on parole and probation are restricted from owning or possessing firearms.
- Search Warrants: People on parole and probation can have their person, vehicle, or residence searched without a warrant at any time without probable cause. They can also be forced to submit to drug screening at any time without probable cause.
Side Note: A judge does have the ability to waive some of these requirements. For example, if a parolee works in another state, the travel restriction can be lifted to ensure gainful employment.
If restoring the vote is about ensuring rehabilitation and reintegration into society, then the next logical step is to restore all civil rights to people on parole and probation. After all, wouldn’t the ability to take a vacation to Virginia Beach help with their rehabilitation? Perhaps some range therapy to relax after a long day at work?
I would not hold my breath. This was not a vote about rehabilitation or civil rights. It was a pander vote to try to recruit 40,000 more Democrat voters.
Eric is a former officer in the Republican Club of Frederick County and Frederick County Republican Central Committee between 2015 and 2018. Former guest host on WFMD and showrunner on WTHU. Avid gardener and food preserver. Graduated from Libertarianism to Anarchism as the corruption level in the state requires us to start over from scratch.