Politicizing elections is the last thing America needs after a controversial 2020 election, but the Department of Justice (DOJ) is aggressively attacking Georgia’s new election law, not with substantive criticism, but with half-baked political talking points. Reasonable people can disagree on the merits of Georgia’s effort to improve election security and integrity, but painting the legislation as “Jim Crow” is intellectually dishonest and does a disservice to the American people. We need a transparent, honest debate about improving voter confidence in our election process, without unjustified allegations of racism.
Less than 24 hours after Gov. Brian Kemp signed the election integrity bill (“SB 202”) into law, Biden condemned it in an official statement, calling it, “Jim Crow in the 21st Century,” an insulting and unfair comparison to pre-civil rights movement voting restrictions that prevented people of color from voting. Then, on June 25, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against Georgia, attacking the state with arguments under the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965. A careful analysis shows that the DOJ’s claims are baseless and won’t hold up in a court of law.
Lawyers for the DOJ claim that there is a discriminatory purpose behind the law, even though they have no evidence showing this. The Georgia General Assembly followed the normal legislative process, holding at least 16 public hearings, and those hearings make clear that the law is based on and furthers legitimate state interests. The DOJ provided no evidence to show a racist intent on the part of a single legislator, let alone the “legislature as a whole” as the law requires. Anyone who questions the Georgia General Assembly’s intent, including the DOJ, should simply watch the more than 19 hours of testimony and debate available online via the Georgia General Assembly’s website.