Home Uncategorized Iowa Supreme Court Issues Splintered Decision on Which Crimes Result in Disenfranchisement
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Iowa Supreme Court Issues Splintered Decision on Which Crimes Result in Disenfranchisement

The Iowa Constitution says that persons convicted of “infamous crimes” may not register to vote. On April 15, the Iowa Supreme Court issued an opinion in Chiodo v The Section 43.24 Panel, 14-0553. The issue was whether an individual who had been convicted of an aggrevated misdemeanor should lose the right to register. Specifically, the voter in question (who is also a candidate for the state legislature this year) had been convicted twice in his life of drunk driving.

The plurality opinion, signed by 3 justices, says that “infamous crime” means something more serious than a felony. A concurrence signed by two justices says “infamous crime” and “felony” mean the same thing. The concurrence argues that the plurality opinion is so vague, that there will be an explosion of new litigation over whether other persons convicted of felonies may now register to vote.

One justice would have ruled that “infamous crime” means any crime for which the punishment includes incarceration in prison (as opposed to jail). One justice did not participate. Here is a link to the opinion.

One Response

  1. Demo Rep

    Too many moron lawyer and judges to count.

    Infamous crime = LIFETIME punishment.

    For folks like traitors, first degree murderers, perjurors, etc.

    See also the USA 5th Amdt.

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