‘Today we saw Democracy assaulted with a pen. The pen of [Georgia GOP Governor] Brian Kemp as he signed a law to try to accomplish what Donald Trump and the Big Lie was unable to accomplish.’
That was the analysis of Marc Elias, a leading voting rights attorney, on The Rachel Maddow Show last night (watch above). Elias also announced that he was suing Georgia.
🚨BREAKING: On behalf of @NewGAProject, @BlackVotersMtr and @RiseFreeOrg, we have sued Georgia for enacting a new voter suppression law that violates the US Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. https://t.co/9r2DVxZEVR
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) March 26, 2021
The law in question – signed by Kemp on Thursday – makes it harder to receive absentee ballots. It also eliminates many drop boxes (which the governor himself used to vote last election) and it gives new powers to the state legislature to change election norms.
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) November 3, 2020
Under the bill, disturbing free bottles of water at Georgia’s infamously long voting lines is now illegal.
Republicans say the new law is needed to re-establish trust in the electoral process. Voting rights activists says its a racist voting-suppression measure that puts “cologne on Jim Crow.”
Elias’ lawsuit contends that Georgia’s law violates “the Fourteenth Amendment and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”
On Maddow, Elias said “Republican politicians around the country are failing voters and failing democracy and we have to turn to the courts.” Elias was referring to hundreds of new GOP-backed laws winding their way through state houses all over the nation that would make it more difficult to vote.
The Washington Post contextualizes the Georgia law within that landscape:
As Kemp held a news conference announcing the bill, Democratic state Rep. Park Cannon banged on his office door, trying to gain entry. She was arrested by state troopers.
“Why are you arresting her?” This Facebook Live video from @TWareStevens shows the moment authorities detained state Rep. Park Cannon as @GovKemp was behind those doors signing elections restrictions into law. #gapol pic.twitter.com/U1xMJ6tZrY
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) March 25, 2021