Announcing a Justice Department lawsuit against of Georgia over its voting law, Attorney General Merrick Garland charged that state lawmakers intended to prevent black people from voting.
“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,” Garland said Friday at the Justice Department.
He told reporters it was “the first of many steps we are taking to ensure that all eligible voters can cast a vote, that all lawful votes are counted and that every voter has access to accurate information.”
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp defended the law, insisting it was designed to make it “easy to vote and hard to cheat in Georgia.”
The law requires ID for mail-in as well as in-person voting and expands early voting opportunities. It continues to allow voters to use absentee ballots without an excuse, allows observation of ballot counting and bars ballot harvesting.
Democrats have cast voter IDs as racist, presuming many black citizens either don’t a photo ID or are incapable of obtaining one for no charge from a county registrar’s office or the Department of Motor Vehicles.
However, a Rasmussen national survey in March found that 69% of likely black voters and 75% overall favor requiring voters to present an ID card verifying their identity.
‘In the service of woke progressivism’
Garland was flanked by the head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, Kristen Clarke, who was described Friday by former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy as “a radical with a history of racist and anti-Semitic commentary.”
McCarthy called the lawsuit “ridiculous,” saying it “puts the awesome law-enforcement power of the federal government in the service of woke progressivism.”
But with Clarke in charge, the suit came as no surprise, he said, noting she was confirmed with the assent of only one Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.
“At Harvard, where she led the Black Students Association as an undergrad, Clarke publicly contended that blacks were superior to whites physically and mentally because their brains contain higher amounts of neuro-melanin,” McCarthy wrote. “Blacks are also spiritually superior, she said, though she elaborated that this is not an attribute that can be “measured based on Eurocentric standards.”
Lawsuit born of ‘lies and misinformation’
Gov. Kemp said the DOJ lawsuit “is born out of the lies and misinformation the Biden administration has pushed against Georgia’s Election Integrity Act from the start.”
“Joe Biden, Stacey Abrams and their allies tried to force an unconstitutional elections power grab through Congress — and failed.” he said, referring to the For the People Act.
“Now, they are weaponizing the U.S. Department of Justice to carry out their far-left agenda that undermines election integrity and empowers federal government overreach in our democracy.”
President Biden made false claims about the Georgia law, calling it “Jim Crow on steroids,” even after earning the maximum four “Pinocchios” from the Washington Post fact-checker. In response, a Georgia state lawmaker, noting that laws in the president’s home state of Delaware are more protective of election integrity than Georgia’s, proposed legislation to make his state’s laws like Delaware’s.
After condemnation of the law by Biden and the CEOs of Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and the Coca-Cola Company, among others, Major League Baseball decided Friday to withdraw the All-Star Game from Atlanta.
See Attorney General Merrick Garland’s remarks:
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., called the DOJ’s move “an outrageous abuse of power and politicization of the Justice Department.”
He said Biden and Garland “are now using the law enforcement power of the federal government to advance the Democrats’ false attacks on Georgia.”
This is an outrageous abuse of power and politicization of the Justice Department – Joe Biden & Merrick Garland are now using the law enforcement power of the federal government to advance the Democrats’ false attacks on Georgia. This is wrong https://t.co/TyxGGC8C84
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) June 25, 2021
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger also condemned the lawsuit.
“It is no surprise that they would operationalize their lies with the full force of the federal government. I look forward to meeting them, and beating them, in court,” he said.
Three other Republican-led states — Arizona, Florida and Texas — are considering election-law changes similar to Georgia’s, including adding ID requirements, restricting dropboxes and cutting private funding for local election offices.
Garland issued them a warning.
“Where we believe the civil rights of Americans have been violated, we will not hesitate to act,” he said.
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