An Answer to Rick’s Question?

I think the answer to Rick’s question about the DOJ North Carolina complaint is this:  The Department of Justice doesn’t have general authority to enforce constitutional rights; it needs a specific statute authorizing it to do so.  And I’m not aware of any statute that generally authorizes DOJ to bring a proceeding to enforce constitutional rights in voting outside of the race context.  (Compare 42 USC 14141, which gives DOJ general authority to bring constitutional claims against law enforcement agencies, or the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, which gives DOJ general authority to bring constitutional claims involving the treatment of prisoners and other institutionalized persons.)  So I don’t think it’s a matter of DOJ not wanting to go there so much as not being able to go there.

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