merrick garland attorney general
(Leadership Council on Legal Diversity)
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(Leadership Council on Legal Diversity)

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland sought to reassure Americans last Friday that the Justice Department will do everything within its power to protect voting rights. 

Delivering a policy address at the Justice Department, AG Garland said “to meet the challenge of the current moment, we must rededicate the resources of the Department of Justice to a critical part of its original mission: enforcing federal law to protect the franchise for all eligible voters”.

In his address, Garland referenced some of the voter suppression efforts of states saying ”so far this year, at least 14 states have passed new laws that make it harder to vote”.

More states restrict the right to vote in the land of the free

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, between January 1 and May 14, 2021, at least 14 states enacted 22 new laws that restrict access to the vote. More restrictions on the vote are likely to become law, as roughly one-third of legislatures are still in session. At least 61 bills with restrictive provisions are moving through 18 state legislatures. More specifically, 31 have passed at least one chamber, while another 30 have had some sort of committee action (e.g., a hearing, an amendment, or a committee vote).

At his maiden speech on the floor of the United States Senate back in March, Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) gave a strong rebuke of the voter suppression bills that were being introduced in state legislatures:

“This is Jim Crow in new clothes. Since the January election, some 250 voter suppression bills have been introduced by state legislatures all across the country. From Georgia to Arizona. From New Hampshire to Florida. Using the ‘big lie’ of voter fraud as a pretext for voter suppression. The same ‘big lie’ that led to a violent insurrection on this very Capitol the day after my election. Within 24 hours, we elected Georgia’s first African-American, first Jewish senator, and hours later the Capitol was assaulted. We see in just a few precious hours, the tension very much alive in the soul of America.”

As part of this mission, AG Garland said the Justice Department would double the number of voter enfranchisement lawyers in the Civil Rights Division and more closely scrutinize laws that relate to the right to vote, including examining state legislation for possible disenfranchisement against Black voters and other people of color.

Mike Creef is a fighter for equality and justice for all. Growing up bi-racial (Jamaican-American) on the east coast allowed him to experience many different cultures and beliefs that helped give him a...

One reply on “Attorney General Garland vows to protect voting rights”

  1. The really frightening part, so new that the remedy does not even exist in either voting rights bill passed by the House, is the law that now states any partisan poll watcher challenge must immediately be accepted as valid. This must be done no matter how crazy the assertion. This is exactly what the courts rejected last year 60 times, what any normal person would call Lunatic challenges. Now if anyone claims Italian satellites are controlling the voting machines,( a real charge currently being litigated) which the Trump Attorney General’s office demanded local Federal Attorney’s investigate. They demanded the Attorneys throw out the valid electors in several states. Now those absurd charges must be upheld and the vote tabulation stopped. This is combined with laws that remove the elected Secretary of State from certifying elections and turns that job over to State legislatures who will then decide who won the election not the voters. North Korea, Zimbabwe, Putin? No, now that is how the USA will conduct elections in states controlled by MAGA.

    Fox Not News and MAGA radio only talks about Voter ID, which is not even contested by us. (Just make it one Federal voting ID. Not refusing to recognize College ID’s but approving of NRA membership ID’s). Everyone recognizes the need for ID so that’s all the right talks about claiming “we” are against ID’s. NO, we are against voter suppression of which ID’s are just a minor part of the issue. The greatest danger is changing how votes are counted after the election. These new laws allow ignoring the vote of the people and just having the partisan legislature decide who won the election. Why do these Republicans hate America so much? Yes, the country has gotten more colorful, is that it? Why do they despise our Constitution? Because the end justifies any means. And Constitutional rights are in the way of the rightwing maintaining power. They hate America, they hate our Constitution, they hate democracy (we are a republic not a democracy you always hear) yet their slogan is American First. Who do the really want to be First?

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