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US Justice Dept sues Georgia over voting rights restrictions

ANI | Updated: Jun 26, 2021 02:17 IST

Washington [US], June 26 (ANI/Sputnik): The Biden administration is suing the state of Georgia over an act passed and signed into law in March that allegedly violates the 1965 Voting Act because it limits the voting rights of African-Americans, US Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Friday.
"Today the Department of Justice is suing the state of Georgia," Garland said. "Our complaint [challenges] is about recent changes to Georgia's election laws."
The law was passed by both chambers of the Republican-controlled Georgia legislature in March and was then signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp. The Justice Department charges that the law is discriminatory in seeking to make voting much more difficult for African-Americans in the state.

"Today I announced the [Civil Rights] division has found it necessary to file suit against the state of Georgia. ...Georgia's recent law Violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act," Assistant Attorney General Kristin Clark who heads the Civil Rights Division said. "We looked carefully at the Georgia law and determined there is an important federal interest to protect here."
The bill was three pages long when it was approved by Georgia's lower chamber but suddenly expanded to 90 pages when it was hurriedly passed by the state Senate and then immediately signed into law by the governor the same day, Clark said.
At least three other Republican-controlled states - Arizona, Iowa and Florida - have also passed similar laws while Pennsylvania and Texas are considering such measures. Merrick said the federal government might take legal action against them too.
"We are scrutinizing new laws that seek to curb voter access and when we see violations of federal law, we will act," he said.
The Justice Department's action against Georgia came only days after a united block of Republicans in the Senate blocked and killed a federal bill supported by the Biden administration to protect voting rights. (ANI/ Sputnik)