The Department of Justice will file a lawsuit challenging a new voting law in Georgia according to multiple media outlets. Attorney General Merrick Garland will announce the lawsuit at 11 a.m. ET press conference according to the reports.
This marks the first major challenge launched under President Joe Biden against a nationwide movement in Republican-dominated state legislatures to pass new voting laws. Most expect many more lawsuits to come. The lawsuit will be carried by civil rights chief Kristen Clarke and associate attorney general Vanita Gupta, two recently appointed Justice Department officials.
In remarks on 11 June, AG Garland ripped the false narrative fuelling partisan “audits” of the 2020 election and the passage of numerous state voting laws.
“Justifications proffered in support of post-election audits and restrictions on voting have relied on allegations of voting fraud in the 2020 election that have been refuted by … every court, federal and state, that has considered them,” Garland said.
Biden said on June 24, “What these guys are trying to do now is say that if we don’t like the way the vote turned out, and we control the state legislature, we’re gonna say the vote didn’t count, and we’re going to recount,” the president said. “Who in God’s name, as my mother would say, died and left them boss?”
A source familiar confirms to ABC News that Attorney General Merrick Garland will announce Friday that the Justice Department is filing suit against the state of Georgia over its recently-passed voting law.
Garland had signaled just last week that the department’s Civil Rights Division would be taking a more aggressive stance against efforts to curb voting rights and voter access, saying in a speech that over the next 30 days he would seek to double the number of staff who handle voting rights protections.
“We are scrutinizing new laws that seek to curb voter access, and where we see violations, we will not hesitate to act,” Garland said. “We are also scrutinizing current laws and practices in order to determine whether they discriminate against Black voters and other voters of color.”
Breaking: DOJ is suing the state of Georgia under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, alleging discrimination against Black voters in the state in its recent voting changes, AG Garland announces. https://t.co/KG7WKKKzf9 pic.twitter.com/byoqoD36iT— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) June 25, 2021
Garland says guidance will be forthcoming regarding redistricting, in light of the fact that this likely will be the first redistricting year in recent decades without the preclearance provision of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act in force.— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) June 25, 2021
Now: AG Garland announces DOJ is suing Georgia over new voting restrictions that the government alleges were adopted with the purpose of violating the rights of Black voters.— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) June 25, 2021
"Where we believe the civil rights of Americans have been violated, we will not hesitate to act." pic.twitter.com/MuFbenTOqV