“Non-discriminatory state laws that are designed to protect election integrity do not infringe upon the right to vote,” they told an Atlanta-based federal judge. “To the contrary, ‘the right to vote is the right to participate in an electoral process that is necessarily structured to maintain the integrity of the democratic system.’”
The DOJ filed a lawsuit in late June against the state of Georgia to “stop racially discriminatory provisions of the new voting law.”
“The right of all eligible citizens to vote is the central pillar of our democracy, the right from which all other rights ultimately flow,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “This lawsuit is the first step of many 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.”
Georgia requested a judge to dismiss the lawsuit last week, calling the lawsuit a “politicized intrusion” into the state’s legal power to regulate its elections.
Many of the more contentious plans for Georgia’s new voting law were abandoned before it was enacted, but its range and new powers given to the state over local election offices are notable.
Known as SB 202, it also adds a voter ID requirement for absentee ballots, reduces the time period for requesting absentee ballots, and allows fewer ballot drop boxes in metro Atlanta than were open during last year’s election. Those were among the provisions that caught the notice of the federal government.
The amicus brief filed by the lawmakers suggests that the case is “without merit,” mentioning the elections clause of the Constitution, which gives state legislatures "broad authority" to regulate the times, places and manner of elections.
"The Constitution grants states – not the Executive Branch or federal courts – broad discretion to prevent potential voter fraud and voter intimidation, including implementing voter ID," Rep. Rick Allen, R-Ga., told Fox News. "The Biden Administration’s lawsuit against Georgia is just the latest example of an ongoing effort to federalize elections, and is the same attempt that is being waged legislatively with Congressional Democrats’ For the People Act."