The Most Crucial Part of the New Georgia Lawsuit Is Proving GOP Intentionally Targeted Black Voters
by Ari Berman
June 26, 2021
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/20 ... ck-voters/
(Mother Jones) The Biden Justice Department sued the state of Georgia over its new voting restrictions on Friday—the eighth anniversary of the Supreme Court decision gutting the Voting Rights Act, which ruled that states with a long history of discrimination no longer had to approve their voting changes with the federal government. If it’s successful, Georgia could once again be covered under what remains of that landmark law.
The preclearance provision of the VRA blocked 175 proposed voting changes in Georgia from 1965 until 2013. Had it still been in place, the state’s sweeping voter suppression law, passed in March, likely “would have never taken effect,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference on Friday announcing the lawsuit.
The Justice Department suit is relying on what remains of the VRA to try to ensure Georgia will once again have to approve its voting changes with the federal government. Specifically, a still-standing section of the law says that states that are found guilty by a court of intentionally discriminating against minority voters can be required to clear their voting changes with the federal government for a period of time.
caltrek's comment: Prior to the change to a new format in this forum, I recall being frustrated with folks from outside of the U.S. because I thought that they relied too heavily on media reports and were too quick to discount the experiences that other citizens of this country brought to the forum. For me, the Voting Rights Act very much illustrates the point. It is not just something that I have read about in history books or in newspaper and magazine articles. It is also something that I had real life experience with before I retired.
I often was involve in local government reorganization of County Service Areas, Community Service Districts, Fire Districts, Sanitation Districts, etc. I often prepared timelines for use by my supervisors and others regarding such reorganizations. One component that I always had to include, because it affected the timing of such reorganizations, was the pre-clearance process carried out by the U.S. Department of Justice under the Voting Rights Act. I was even called once by a Department of Justice representative who had questions about a particular reorganization. The concern was whether the governing board of an agency that stood to gain a lot of territory was integrated. I told the representative that somebody had told me that she would be calling me, and that there actually was minority representation on the governing board in question. My answers satisfied that representative and the Justice Department preclearance was forthcoming.