August 4, 2021

Global News Archive

News archives from around the world.

AG Merrick Garland vows to protect voting rights, beef up DOJ civil rights division – USA TODAY

2 min read

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department will beef up its civil rights unit as part of an aggressive effort to fight policies and legislation that restrict voter access and discriminate against marginalized voters, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday.

“To meet the challenge of the current moment, we must re-dedicate the resources of the Department of Justice to a critical part of its original mission: enforcing federal law to protect the franchise for all eligible voters,” Garland said, noting a recent wave of legislation in several states that restrict voter access.

Garland said within the next 30 days, the department will double the enforcement staff of the civil rights unit, a powerful division within the agency that investigates hate crimes, police abuses and other civil rights violations. 

FLORIDA: DeSantis signs election law in Florida, accused of voter suppression

GEORGIA:What to know about Georgia’s new voting rules

Attorney General Merrick Garland addresses Justice Department staff on his first day March 11, 2021, in Washington.

“We are scrutinizing new laws that seek to curb voter access, and where we see violations of federal law, we will not hesitate to act,” Garland said. “We are also scrutinizing current laws and practices, in order to determine whether they discriminate against Black voters and other voters of color.”

The announcement comes in the middle of a national tug of war over voting rights, which is expected to be a key issue in the 2022 midterm elections. Republican state lawmakers across the country have proposed measures that would limit access to voting, while Democrats are pushing for sweeping legislation to expand voter access.

Garland said efforts to restrict voter access have relied on allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election that have been refuted by state and federal courts and intelligence agencies.

AG BARR: No evidence of massive election fraud, Trump Attorney General Barr says

Garland, along with Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta and Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, are expected to play pivotal roles in fulfilling President Joe Biden’s promise to restore voting rights.

Gupta and Clarke, both of whom were present during Garland’s speech Friday, are known figures in the civil rights arena in Washington, D.C. Clarke, specifically, has spent her career advancing voting rights, both as a Justice Department lawyer and an attorney for advocacy groups. 

Contributing: Deborah Barfield Berry

Source Link

Leave a Reply

Copyright ©2016-2021 Global News Archive. All rights reserved.