SMU Law Review Forum


In recent years, felon-voter disenfranchisement has received considerable attention from academics, policymakers, and the media. In turn, a number of jurisdictions have eased record-based voter restriction statutes. And while those efforts represent a significant step toward full civic reintegration for those with a felony criminal history, they are far from comprehensive, as they regularly omit citizens with certain types of felony convictions and typically address only one form of civic marginalization. Focusing on recent reform in the area of civic restrictions, this Article suggests that incomplete civic restoration comes with significant consequences that ought to be considered during legislative negotiations. This Article further suggests that by capitulating to emotive, non-empirical opposition to full civic reinstatement, lawmakers run the risk of validating arguments that have no scientific or logical foundation.



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