Q: Are laws invalid if they target a group who was disenfranchised when they passed but has since won the right to vote?
A state supreme court judge in Utah recently questioned the validity of the state constitution's language on abortion, given that it was drafted when women--those most directly affected by pregnancy and abortion--did not have the right to vote. What is the validity of this type of law? In fact, is any law passed prior our current level of enfranchisment valid?
I guess my question is whether *legally* enfranchisement is considered a legislative choice or a fundamental right. If it's the second, that would seem to imply that groups who win the right to vote should *always* have had that right...so does that make elections while their vote was supressed retroactively fraudulent? And if an election is found to be fraudulent, does that invalidate the laws passed by those elected?
Laws that specifically target disenfranchised groups when passed may be subject to legal challenges on various grounds, including equal protection and fundamental rights. The impact of enfranchisement on the validity of such laws can depend on the specifics of each case and the legal arguments presented. The question of whether elections conducted during periods of disenfranchisement are retroactively fraudulent and whether such findings could invalidate laws is complex and would require careful legal analysis.
James L. Arrasmith
Founder and Chief Legal Counsel of The Law Offices of James L. Arrasmith
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