Shouldn't a crime that is severe enough to warrant the permanent loss of fundamental rights be a felony?
Perhaps not always even then.
Consider: a guy falls on hard times. He kites a few checks. They add up to just enough of an amount to qualify as a felony. The guy gets convicted and does his time. Once released, he is a law-abiding model citizen.
Does he deserve to be stripped of certain civil rights for the rest of his life? Should he be treated the same as a violent predator? These are questions we've yet to adequately answer.
Regarding the Lautenberg amdnement
, we suffered a loss. Basically, the 7th Circuit chose to find the law constitutional on grounds that look suspiciously like interest-balancing. The 4th could decide to act in the same way, arguing that the government's interest in maintaining order during a crisis is "compelling."
(I wonder if attacking the Lautenberg amendment head on might have been a bad idea, given that it's harder to generate sympathy for a plaintiff in such situations.)