WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is suing Georgia over the state’s new election law, alleging Republican state lawmakers rushed through a sweeping overhaul with an intent to deny Black voters equal access to the ballot.
“Where we believe the rights of civil rights of Americans have been violated we will not hesitate to act,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday in announcing the lawsuit.
Republican lawmakers in the state pushed back immediately, pledging a forceful defense of Georgia’s law.
The Biden administration’s move comes two weeks after Garland said his department would scrutinize new laws in Republican-controlled states that tighten voting rules. He said the federal government would take action if prosecutors found unlawful activity.
The suit also comes as pressure grows on the Biden administration to respond to GOP-backed laws being pushed in the states this year. A Democratic effort to overhaul election laws was blocked this week by Republican senators.