Today, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it is suing the state of Georgia over S.B. 202, its recently-passed voter suppression law. The DOJ is charging the state with violating Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act by passing legislation to make it disproportionately harder for Black voters and other voters of color to access the ballot box.
The announcement of the federal suit, United States v. Georgia, comes on the 8th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which eviscerated the critical Section 5 “preclearance” provision of the Voting Rights Act, and precipitated an onslaught of discriminatory voter suppression laws across the nation. The Justice Department’s suit also follows existing litigation brought by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. (LDF) and several other civil rights organizations against Georgia over S.B. 202.
In response to today’s DOJ announcement, LDF President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill issued the following statement:
“We are gratified that the Justice Department has chosen to enter this important case. It is our hope that this litigation can continue to move forward expeditiously, but the Georgia law is one of many that warrant the attention of the Department. More importantly, we hope that this action by DOJ today signals the beginning of a re-invigorated and aggressive effort by the Department to proactively use its authority to enforce the Voting Rights Act and challenge voter suppression laws across the country.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.