57 House Republicans back Georgia against DOJ voting rights lawsuit
Nearly five dozen House Republicans on Monday threw their weight behind a controversial Georgia election law, urging a federal judge to dismiss a legal challenge brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
In an amicus brief, 57 GOP lawmakers argued that Georgia’s new Republican-crafted voting restrictions comply with federal voting protections and promote the state’s interest in election integrity.
“Non-discriminatory state laws that are designed to protect election integrity do not infringe upon the right to vote,” they told an Atlanta-based federal judge. “To the contrary, ‘the right to vote is the right to participate in an electoral process that is necessarily structured to maintain the integrity of the democratic system.’ ”
The Georgia law at issue, S.B. 202, which passed in March along party lines, imposes restrictions that voting rights groups say will fall most heavily on minorities. It sets new voter ID requirements for absentee ballots, limits drop boxes and prohibits passing out food and water to those waiting in line to vote.
The measure was immediately hit with legal challenges by voting rights groups. In June, the DOJ filed suit, alleging that certain provisions of the law intentionally aim to make it harder for Black residents to vote, in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Georgia’s law is among an array of similar measures being considered by state legislatures across the country after former President Trump lied repeatedly about the 2020 presidential election being stolen through widespread voter fraud, a claim that is not supported by evidence.
Three independent counts, including a hand recount, of Georgia’s roughly 5 million ballots were conducted after the 2020 election, all of which confirmed President Biden’s win there.
Among the lawmakers who signed onto Monday’s amicus brief, which is pending the court’s approval, were promoters of Trump’s falsehoods about the election. They include Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), the chair of the House Republican Conference, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), a 2022 candidate for Georgia secretary of state, the state’s top election post.
The lawmakers’ brief argues that the Constitution gives state legislatures far more authority than that of Congress or courts to set state election procedures. Their court filing comes after the defendants in the case, which includes the state of Georgia and Republican National Committee, urged the judge last week to toss the lawsuit.
The House members’ amicus brief was filed by attorney Jay Sekulow, who represented Trump at his first of two impeachment trials.