In 2010 then-Virginia governor Tim Kaine (and now possible Hillary Clinton running mate) took a look at the state's constitution and concluded that it did not allow him to restore voting rights to felons.

Kaine's legal adviser wrote to the ACLU that to do so would be "a rewrite of the law rather than a contemplated use of the executive clemency powers." He added that "the notion that the Constitution of the Commonwealth could be rewritten via executive order is troubling.”

But that was before President Obama made rewriting the law by fiat so accepted that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe issued an executive order restoring felon voting rights to 206,000 convicted felons (many of whom were convicted of violent crimes). The Virginia Supreme Court heard arguments earlier this week on whether McAuliffe can do this.

Like President Obama with the U.S. Constitution, McAuliffe is trying to get something he wants even if it means violating the state constitution. The Wall Street Journal explains:

Mr. McAuliffe has been frustrated by a GOP legislature that has blocked his attempts to expand Medicaid, among other things, so he acted on his own on voting felons. The idea is to increase the pool of Democratic voters. Mr. McAuliffe’s counsel argues that if the constitution is read literally it should follow that the Governor lacks the power to pardon women or to pardon more than one man. This is a semantic invention to justify a pre-determined political result.

Divided government is common, and no doubt it’s frustrating to elected officials. The proper democratic response is to work out compromises within the boundaries allowed by state and federal constitutions. Frustration with legislatures is not a justification for executives to rewrite the law on their own. If Mr. Obama’s lawlessness spreads, self-government will suffer across the country.

I'm also guessing that felons–like dead people who vote–lean Democrat.