Jul 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

RNC and NRSC to intervene in DOJ lawsuit against Georgia voting restrictions

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel speaks during the opening of an Asian Pacific American Community Center in Westminster, CA on Friday, June 25, 2021.

RNC chair Ronna McDaniel speaks during the opening of an Asian Pacific American Community Center in Westminster, Calif. on June 25. Photo: Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

The Republican National Committee and National Republican Senatorial Committee on Thursday announced plans to intervene in the Justice Department's lawsuit against Georgia over its voting restrictions.

Driving the news: RNC chair Ronna McDaniel and NRSC chair Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) seek to fight the lawsuit because they say "the security of the ballot is more important than Democrat power grabs," per McDaniel.

Catch up fast: The Justice Department sued Georgia on June 25 over the state's voting restrictions, alleging that a law passed this spring discriminates against Black voters.

  • Georgia’s Election Integrity Act, passed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) this spring, includes measures that cut the time period voters have to request absentee ballots, limit drop boxes, impose new identification requirements and give greater control of election administration to the state legislature.

The big picture: In a landmark Voting Rights Act case last week, the Supreme Court upheld a set of voting restrictions in Arizona and began to set some new parameters for other, similar lawsuits, Axios' Stef Kight reports.

  • The Supreme Court decision will likely make it more difficult for the Justice Department to challenge Georgia's new voting laws and other similar cases, experts say.
  • Iowa, Montana, Florida, Arkansas and Kansas also have active voting rights cases.

What they're saying: "After failing to sell H.R.1 / S.1 to the American people, Joe Biden and Democrats are weaponizing the Justice Department by trying to strong-arm the state of Georgia into making its elections less secure," McDaniel said.

  • "The Department of Justice’s frivolous, politicized lawsuit looks to overturn a common sense, popular bill that would protect every Georgian’s vote, encourage more voting, and restore trust in the process," Scott said.
  • The other side: Attorney General Merrick Garland has argued that the Georgia law was "enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color, in violation of Section Two of the Voting Rights Act."

Go deeper: Democrats' losing hand on voting rights

Go deeper