The state of Georgia told a federal judge this week that the Justice Department’s lawsuit challenging its new election law is a “politicized intrusion” into the state’s constitutional authority over its elections.
Georgia requested the judge dismiss the lawsuit, noting that the changes the state made following the 2020 election were implemented during the coronavirus pandemic and actually “increased voter access.”
In a 37-page filing on Wednesday, Georgia officials argued that the DOJ calls the new law “discriminatory” and “racist,” but the same election requirements exist in other states such as Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, New York, New Jersey and Wisconsin.
“Yet DOJ is not suing those states, nor has it sued others controlled by Democrats that have laws far more restrictive than Georgia’s. This merely underscores why this lawsuit should be dismissed,” the state’s filing read.
Georgia also claims that there is no evidence the law has an outsized impact on minorities and that a Supreme Court ruling this year supports the dismissal of the case. In Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, the high court upheld Arizona’s new election law over a challenge by the Democratic Party.
A spokesperson from the Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Georgia case is pending before Judge J. P. Boulee, a Trump appointee.
President Biden’s Justice Department sued Georgia last month, alleging the state is running afoul of the Voting Rights Act in an attempt to suppress Black voters in the state.
“According to data from the State, although the turnout rate among Black voters in Georgia has increased in recent elections, it continues to lag behind that of white voters,” the DOJ’s complaint read.
The law at issue, Georgia’s Election Integrity Act of 2021, was enacted in March.
It bans the distribution of unsolicited absentee ballots, requires ID with absentee ballots, limits the number of drop boxes for mail-in ballots, and bans the distribution of food and drink at polling locations.
Voting activist groups have challenged the law, too, and at least one case seeking to block the new requirements has already been blocked.
The same judge overseeing the Justice Department‘s case said the law could remain in effect in an order issued earlier this month.
The judge said the voters and civil rights groups sought to change the rules in the middle of a run-off election for state House seats, blocking their request to stop the enforcement of Georgia’s new election requirements.