President Joe Biden condemned a new election law in Georgia as “an atrocity” and “a blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience”.
In a statement Friday, Biden described the law, which Republican state Governor Brian Kemp sign Thursday after the Republican-dominated legislature passed it, as “Jim Crow in the 21st Century,” referring to laws once used to suppress the vote of African Americans.
Among other limitations, the law imposed stricter identification requirements, limited drop boxes, gave lawmakers the power to take over local elections, and shortened the early voting period for all second-round elections. . It also makes it a crime for people to offer food and water to voters in line.
“It’s an atrocity,” Biden told the White House on Friday. “If you want an indication that it has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with decency, they passed a law saying you can’t provide water to people in line while waiting. to vote? You don’t need anything else to know it’s nothing but punitive, designed to prevent people from voting. You cannot provide water to people who are about to vote. Leave me alone.”
Biden later told reporters he was not sure what the White House could do about the law, but said they were “working on it right now” and added that the ministry American Justice “was also examining”.
The legislation has alarmed Democrats, who celebrated historic presidential victories and two Senate campaigns in Georgia, which helped hand control of the White House and the US Senate to their party in Washington.
Meanwhile, a coalition of civil rights groups has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the new voting restrictions, arguing that the Republican-backed law aims to make it harder for people – especially black voters – to vote. .
The lawsuit was filed in Atlanta federal court just hours after the law came into effect Thursday by the New Georgia Project, the Black Voters Matter Fund and Rise, Marc Elias, a Democratic lawyer who led the party electoral legal efforts last year, represents the groups. .
Here is the 10,000-foot snapshot of the chase we filed last night @BlackVotersMtr & @RiseFreeOrg. Read the full complaint by @marceelias & @DemocracyDocket here: https://t.co/Zjfvon0S87 pic.twitter.com/85lztwkbox
– New Georgia Project (@NewGAProject) March 26, 2021
“These provisions have no justification for their heavy and discriminatory effects on the vote”, indicates the trial.
“Instead, they represent a mishmash of unnecessary restrictions that target almost every aspect of the voting process, but serve no legitimate purpose or compelling state interest other than to make voting absent, early and unsuccessful. more difficult polling day – especially for minority voters.
Stacey Abrams, prominent voting rights lawyer and former candidate for governor of Georgia, called the law “Jim Crow 2.0” on Twitter.
Now more than ever, we need federal action to protect voting rights as we continue to fight these blatantly unconstitutional efforts that are nothing less than Jim Crow 2.0.
– Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) March 25, 2021
Republicans have defended the legislation as necessary to make “our elections fair and secure,” as Kemp said when signing the bill Thursday.
Democratic State Representative Park Cannon, who is black, was arrested by Georgia Capitol Police in the midst of a protest after knocking on the door of the governor’s office during his remarks.
Video captured by a spectator shows Cannon, who is handcuffed with his arms behind his back, being forcibly removed from the Capitol by two officers, one on each arm. She says “where are you taking me?” and “stop” when she exits the building.
Cannon was charged with obstructing police, punishable by one to five years in prison, and disrupting a session of the General Assembly. She was released late Thursday evening.
Georgia State Representative Park Cannon said she was released after being arrested for standing outside Gov. Brian Kemp’s office as he signed a law setting broad restrictions on voting in the state. https://t.co/kEBqj79RIg pic.twitter.com/0gEpoApHNp
– Reuters (@Reuters) March 26, 2021
Other Republican-controlled state legislatures sue voting restrictions in major battlefield states, including Florida and Arizona, after former President Donald Trump has repeatedly blamed his loss to Biden on massive unproven electoral fraud.
As he contested his national loss to Biden, Trump focused much of his energy on Georgia. At one point, he personally called state Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and urged him to “find” the votes Trump claimed to have gone missing.
This phone call is part of a criminal investigation by state prosecutors to determine whether Trump broke election laws by pressuring officials to change the results.
Biden was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since 1992.