National Catholic Reporter

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Mean-Spirited Injustice in Florida

In Winconsin, they attack unions. In Florida, the GOP controlled state government is attacking former felons and their right to vote.
This morning's Washington Post reports that Gov. Rick Scott and the state's executive clemency board voted to revoke rules adopted under his Republican predecessor that made it easier for former felons, once they had completed their sentence, to regain their voting rights. Since 2007, 154,000 ex-felons have had their rights to vote restored.
You would think that helping an ex-felon get reconnected with his community through the exercise of the most basic right and duty of citizenship would be just the kind of thing you would want an ex-felon to do. But, not if many of those ex-felons are minorities who might vote for the Dems.
For you history buffs, the original, restrictive rule regarding voting was passed during the post-Reconstruction era as a means of keeping former slaves away from the voting booths. Nice lineage you got there Gov. Scott. And, during this season of Lent, let's remember that while our moral teachings honor the need for punishment, they also insist on the hope of redemption and the need for mercy. Alas, in the counsels of today's GOP, vengence is more in tune with the Tea Party zealots, especially if it keeps blacks from voting for Democrats.

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August 15-28, 2014

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