The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Thursday on a case that could affect over 160,000 Kentuckians who are unable to vote because of a felony conviction, according to the League of Women Voters.
The case, Deric Lostutter v. The Commonwealth of Kentucky, argues the current system, which grants the governor total discretion in granting voting rights to people who have felony convictions, is a violation of the First Amendment.
Shortly after his inauguration in December 2019, Gov. Andy Beshear issued an executive order to restore voting rights to most people with in-state nonviolent felony convictions. The order did not include all felonies nor did it cover those with out-of-state or federal convictions.