United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
October 4, 2005.
ALLAN O. MOORE, Plaintiff,
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES, et al., Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: DAVID HERNDON, District Judge
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff, an inmate in the Menard Correctional Center, brings
this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff previously was granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis, and he has tendered his
initial partial filing fee as ordered.
This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of
the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:
(a) Screening. The court shall review, before
docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as
practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil
action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a
governmental entity or officer or employee of a
(b) Grounds for Dismissal. On review, the court
shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the
complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A. An action or claim is frivolous if "it lacks
an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319
, 325 (1989). Upon careful review of the
complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise
its authority under § 1915A; this action is legally frivolous and
thus subject to summary dismissal.
Plaintiff's sole claim in this action is that Defendants have
unconstitutionally denied him the right to vote because he is
incarcerated. He states that this denial violates the Voting
Rights Act, the Thirteenth, Fifteenth, and Nineteenth Amendments
to the Constitution, Supreme Court rulings, and acts of Congress.
Plaintiff further states that the denial of the right to vote was
not stipulated by the court in which he was convicted at his
sentencing or any of his hearings.
States can permanently deny the right to vote to individuals
convicted of a felony, except where it is clear that the law so
doing was enacted for a racially discriminatory purpose. See
Richardson v. Ramirez, 418 U.S. 24, 54-56 (1974) (holding that
state law disenfranchising convicted felons does not violate
equal protection clause); Hunter v. Underwood, 471 U.S. 222,
233 (1985) (holding a section of the Alabama constitution in
violation of the equal protection clause where it was clear that
enactment of the section was motivated by a desire to
discriminate based on race). Based on these standards, Plaintiff
has not stated a constitutional claim.
In summary, Plaintiff's complaint does not survive review under
§ 1915A. Accordingly, this action is DISMISSED with prejudice.
Plaintiff is advised that the dismissal of this action will count
as one of his three allotted "strikes" under the provisions of
28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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