Justice Department To Sue Georgia Over Voting Suppression Law
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, following through on a promise he made earlier this month to combat voter discrimination and suppression, will file a federal lawsuit on Friday against the state of Georgia seeking to invalidate its recently enacted voting suppression law.
The Justice Department lawsuit is expected to accuse Georgia lawmakers and Gov. Brian Kemp of effectively discriminating against non-White voters and to prove that they intended to do so. Georgia’s Election Integrity Act limits the use of absentee ballots, makes it a crime for groups to provide food and water to voters standing in line at polling locations and turned over control of election administration to the state legislature, setting up a scenario where Republican politicians could determine the outcome of elections.
Kemp and other Republicans pushed through the law in March after Georgia, always a reliably red state, turned blue for the first time in nearly 40 years in the presidential race and chose Joe Biden over Donald Trump. Democrats also successfully flipped the states two U.S. Senate seats.
The lawsuit comes days after congressional Republicans blocked the most ambitious federal voting rights legislation in a generation, thwarting Democrats’ efforts to preserve voting rights. President Biden and Democratic leaders pledged to continue working to steer federal voting rights legislation into law.
Garland and Kristen Clarke, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, are expected to make a formal announcement of the lawsuit later Friday.
The DOJ action could signal that the Biden administration will challenge similarly restrictive voting suppression laws in Texas, Arizona and other Republican-led states.