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Georgia seeks dismissal of DOJ suit against voting law

Mark Niesse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in News & Features

Georgia asked a judge Wednesday to throw out a federal lawsuit against the state's new voting law, saying the case by the U.S. Department of Justice is based on "political posturing rather than a serious legal challenge."

The motion to dismiss by Republican Attorney General Chris Carr said Georgia's voting laws are nondiscriminatory and ensure greater voter access than several Democratic-run states.

"DOJ fills its complaint with innuendo and hyperbole. But such rhetoric does not make up for the lack of any factual allegations demonstrating that the General Assembly acted with a discriminatory purpose when it passed SB 202″ during this year's legislative session, according to the motion.

The filing is the state's response to the Biden administration's first major voting rights case, which alleged that Georgia legislators targeted Black voters, especially by limiting absentee voting, which they used more often than white voters.

Georgia's voting law curtails ballot drop boxes, imposes stricter ID requirements, shortens absentee ballot request deadlines, prohibits handing out food and water to voters in line, and gives the Republican-controlled Legislature the power to seek the replacement of county election boards.

The Department of Justice contends that Georgia's voting law violated the Voting Rights Act, the landmark civil rights law protecting racial minorities from discrimination.

 

Carr's filing argued that the federal government didn't take aim at several Democratic states with less voting access, including Delaware, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

The motion cites the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling in an Arizona case that upheld its voting laws despite a challenge alleging they had a disproportionate impact on minority voters. The court decided that "usual burdens of voting" and "mere inconvenience" don't violate laws barring discrimination.

The DOJ lawsuit, filed last month, is unlikely to be decided soon. Each party will gather evidence before a potential hearing on the motion to dismiss the case.

In all, eight lawsuits are pending against Georgia's voting law since Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed it into law March 25.

(c)2021 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.