On Friday afternoon, Attorney General Merrick Garland will lay out the Justice Department’s plan for fighting back against states that are passing restrictive legislation regarding elections, according to Axios, and is expected to announce that the DOJ is taking “concrete steps … to secure the fundamental right to vote for all Americans.”
Garland’s speech is planned for 2 p.m.
Just last week, President Joe Biden said that he is making voting rights a top priority for his administration, and has already taken some steps in that direction:
- Biden earlier this month announced Vice President Harris will be leading the administration’s push to protect voting rights. He has called the GOP-led wave of voting restrictions “Jim Crow in the 21st century.”
- Harris said in a statement that the administration “will not stand by when confronted with any effort that keeps Americans from voting,” promising to work with voting rights organizations, the private sector and lawmakers to protect voting access.
Since the 2020 election, 361 bills have been introduced in over half the states in the U.S. that would make it significantly more difficult for people to cast a ballot. Most of those have provisions that would limit the use of absentee balloting and cut back the number of drop boxes available for voters to return mail ballots. Other bills would create stricter requirements for ID if a person wanted to vote.
A DOJ official had this to say about what we can expect from Garland later today:
“(The Attorney General) will discuss the central importance of voting rights to American democracy. He’ll announce steps the department is taking to secure and expand the right to vote for all Americans, including in states seeking to curb voter access.
“He will also speak to the upcoming redistricting cycle, the first since 1960 to proceed without preclearance protections of the Voting Rights Act.”
Republicans are certain to complain, no matter what Garland has to say. As their base of voters continues to shrink, the GOP can only maintain their tenuous grip on relevance by rigging the system in their favor and marginalizing younger voters and voters of color. But it appears their efforts are about to be met with action from the Justice Department.
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