By Robert A. Vella

In judicial news, the Virginia Supreme Court has struck down Governor Terry McAuliffe’s executive order intended to restore voting rights to convicted felons who had successfully served their prison sentences.  The order would have re-enfranchised some 206,000 state residents, mostly blacks, who were being denied their constitutional rights because of a Civil War-era law designed to do exactly that.  The vote was 4-3.

The Alaska Supreme Court has struck down a voter-approved law passed in 2010 that required parental notification for females seeking abortions who are under 18 years of age.  The court’s decision was based solely on the state’s constitutional equal protection provisions, and not on whether minors should have access to abortion services.