In its first major action to combat GOP voter suppression laws, the Biden Justice Department will announce on Friday that it is suing the state of Georgia over its new voting restrictions, a source familiar with the litigation told Mother Jones.
Gov. Brian Kemp has said “there is nothing Jim Crow” about the Georgia law, enacted in March, but it includes 16 different provisions that make it harder to vote and that target metro Atlanta counties with large Black populations.
The lawsuit is being overseen by Kristen Clarke, the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and Vanita Gupta, the associate attorney general—two longtime civil rights lawyers with extensive records litigating against new restrictions on voting.
The Georgia law appears to have been part of a coordinated national effort by conservative activists to make it harder to vote in states across the country. The dark money group Heritage Action for America bragged in a leaked video to donors in April, first reported by Mother Jones, that the Georgia law had “eight key provisions that Heritage recommended.” Those included policies restricting mail ballot drop boxes, preventing election officials from sending absentee ballot request forms to voters, making it easier for partisan workers to monitor the polls, and restricting the ability of counties to accept donations from nonprofit groups seeking to aid in election administration.