TUCSON (CN) – The State of Arizona unconstitutionally prevents 57,000 felons from voting, Page Maier claims in Federal Court. She claims the Framers meant the constitutional disenfranchisement of people convicted of “other crimes” to apply only to “felonies at common law,” not statutory felonies, i.e., not drug crimes.
Maier claims 77,136 felons in Arizona, not in prison or on parole, were disenfranchised as of Dec. 31, 2004. She claims 75% of them – 57,000 – “would be entitled to vote if the term ‘other crime’ is limited to common law felony.”
She claims the only common-law felonies for which the Framers wished citizens disenfranchised were treason, murder, manslaughter, mayhem, rape, arson, burglary, robbery, larceny and sodomy.
“If the term ‘other crime’ is limited to common law felonies, the exemption from the Equal Protection Clause which is granted to the state under Richardson (v. Ramirez) is necessarily limited to disenfranchisement for common law felonies. As a result, disenfranchisement for statutory felonies is not removed from the protections afforded by the Equal Protection Clause,” states the filing by attorney John Cosgrove of Menlo Park, Calif. See complaint.