Herring asks for GOP rights lawsuit to be tossed

FILE - Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, center, speaks to reporters outside the Arlington County Courthouse in Arlington, Va., Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. (File, AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WAVY) — Attorney General Herring, on behalf of Governor Terry McAuliffe and the State Board of Elections, filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit that challenges the governor’s order to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 convicted felons.

The lawsuit is being brought by House Speaker William Howell and Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment along with four other Virginia voters.

Herring, a Democrat, asked the Virginia Supreme Court to throw out the Republican-led lawsuit on Monday.

The attorney general said Gov. Terry McAuliffe had clear legal authority to issue a blanket restoration of rights order starting in April. Republicans have argued that McAuliffe should only restore civil rights — like voting, serving on juries or being able to run for office — on an individual basis.

The high court is expected to hear arguments in the lawsuit in July. A conservative legal advocacy group has filed a second lawsuit challenging McAuliffe’s restoration of rights.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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