The Department of Justice is suing the state of Georgia over its controversial new law imposing a number of restrictions on voting, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday.
“Today, the Department of Justice is suing the state of Georgia,” Garland said. “Our complaint alleges that 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.”
The Georgia law, S.B. 202, passed in March along party lines in the span of just a few hours, imposes restrictions that voting rights groups say will fall most heavily on minorities: It sets new voter ID requirements for absentee ballots, limits drop boxes, and even bars passing out food and water to those waiting in line to vote. (see hyperlink for a fact check on this statement)
The suit is the first from the Justice Department to challenge an influx of state laws they say will limit access to the ballot, with the case largely built on claims the Georgia law was passed with a racial discriminatory intent.
In a speech earlier this month, Garland pointed to 14 “new laws that make it harder to vote,” vowing to scrutinize “current laws and practices in order to determine whether they discriminate against Black voters and other voters of color.”