Voter Suppression

The DOJ Fights Back Against Voter Suppression

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Unnamed members of the Biden administration have long told reporters they would eventually and directly challenge the wave of voter suppression laws that Republican lawmakers are passing in states across the country, but now they're finally doing it.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced this morning that the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department is challenging Georgia's voter suppression law under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

The Justice Department alleges that Georgia’s law was passed through a rushed process that departed from normal procedure, and contained provisions ― including limits on drop boxes for absentee ballots and on providing food and water to voters waiting in long lines ― that were passed with unlawful discriminatory intent. [...]

“There are many things open to debate in America,” Garland said. “But the right of all eligible citizens to vote is not one of them. The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, the right from which all other rights ultimately flow.”

The Justice Department's lawsuit explicitly alleges that Georgia's law was written with an intent to disenfranchise voters based on race and color of their skin. And that is a very specific and serious accusation to make. We all know it's true, but the department must have relatively solid evidence to say it in court.

Chief Justice John Roberts declared that racism is over in the Supreme Court's majority opinion striking down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, but the Garland Justice Department is making that a central focus of their complaint and I see this as a direct challenge to Roberts' opinion.

This will probably end up in front of the Supreme Court at some point and I think forcing Roberts to reconsider his own opinion from the beginning by saying 'actually, it's racism' is a sound strategy.