June 28, 2021
The Department of Justice is suing the State of Georgia over its controversial new law imposing a number of restrictions on voting, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Friday, June 25, according to a report by The Hill.
“Today, the Department of Justice is suing the state of Georgia,” Garland said. “Our complaint alleges that recent changes to Georgia’s election laws were enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color, in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”
The Georgia law—passed in March along party lines in the span of just a few hours—imposes restrictions that voting rights groups say will fall most heavily on minorities: It sets new voter ID requirements for absentee ballots, limits drop boxes and even bars passing out food and water to those waiting in line to vote.
The suit is the first from the Justice Department to challenge an influx of state laws that they say will limit access to the ballot.
In a speech earlier this month, Garland pointed to 14 “new laws that make it harder to vote,” vowing to scrutinize “current laws and practices in order to determine whether they discriminate against Black voters and other voters of color.”
Georgia Republicans argued the law was needed to protect the integrity of elections. Its swift passage into law followed a loss by former President Donald Trump in the state, followed by claims of election fraud from Trump along with a call from him to Georgia’s secretary of state asking him to “find” the president votes, The Hill notes.
A review of pending state legislation by the Brennan Center for Justice found a wave of bills with restrictive voting provisions—and warned that the activity is outpacing other years and leaving “the United States … on track to far exceed its most recent period of significant voter suppression,”
Research contact: @thehill