Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Beshear can't amend Constitution by himself for felons or anyone else

Governor Steve Beshear's executive order granting convicted felons voting rights and the right to run for office violates Kentucky's Constitution in the plain language of Section 77, so he should rescind the order immediately.

"Beshear has the right as governor to pardon felons individually when they apply for reinstatement of their civil rights and Section 77 requires that the applications for each case be kept as public records forever, but Beshear takes it upon himself to strike the application process from the Constitution," Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams said. "If we allow this usurpation of power to stand, what's to stop this or any other governor from striking other words from the Constitution, like the right to bear arms or an individual's property rights?"

Since Governor Beshear clearly can't be counted on to do the right thing, Governor-elect Matt Bevin should make clear his intention to rescind Executive Order 2015-0871 on his first day in office. The regular constitutional amendment process can then be followed by the legislature if they so choose.