The DOJ lawsuit against Georgia alleges that the state intentionally and illegally targeted black voters with their new voting laws.
The Justice Department suit is relying on what remains of the VRA to try to ensure Georgia will once again have to approve its voting changes with the federal government. Specifically, a still-standing section of the law says that states that are found guilty by a court of intentionally discriminating against minority voters can be required to clear their voting changes with the federal government for a period of time.
That’s exactly what happened in Georgia, the Justice Department suit alleges. After Black voters turned out in record numbers to elect Joe Biden president in 2020, and Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the Senate, Georgia Republicans, targeted the very methods used successfully by Black voters and organizers. “The Georgia General Assembly intended to deny or abridge the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of race or color,” the lawsuit states.
If the DOJ wins in court, Georgia will have to submit their election law changes to the federal government for review. It also means that all of the other Republican-controlled states that have copied the Georgia law will also be sued and have to submit their election law changes to the federal government for approval and review.
Relying on the courts to do the right thing is a risky strategy and not good enough. Republicans are attacking democracy. The DOJ lawsuit is a good first step, but Congress must also act to restore the provisions of the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court gutted and to pass the For The People Act to protect the integrity and accessibility of the nation’s elections.
The Georgia law was a clear bid to decrease black participation in the state’s elections, and a DOJ victory would be a signal to Republicans that their election rigging campaign will not be tolerated.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association