Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday that the Department of Justice is suing the state of Georgia over its voting restrictions, alleging that a law passed this spring discriminates against Black voters.

Why it matters: It's the first major action the Biden administration has taken in response to the wave of voting restrictions that Republican-led states have sought to impose in the wake of President Biden's election.

  • In a major policy speech earlier this month, Garland pledged to make voting rights a top priority, doubling the number of enforcement staff dedicated to protecting the right to vote.
  • The lawsuit is being overseen by Kristen Clarke, the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela Karlan.
  • Garland also announced Friday that DOJ is launching a task force to investigate and respond to threats against election officials, according to a memo to federal prosecutors and the FBI.

What they're saying: "Our complaint alleges that recent changes to Georgia's election laws were 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," Garland said at a briefing Friday.

The other side: Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in statement after DOJ's announcement: "The Biden administration continues to do the bidding of Stacey Abrams and spread more lies about Georgia's election law. I look forward to meeting them, and beating them, in court."

  • "As Secretary of State, I fought the Obama Justice Department twice to protect the security of our elections — and won," Gov. Brian Kemp (R) said in a statement. "I look forward to going three for three to ensure it’s easy to vote and hard to cheat in Georgia."

Driving the news: Kemp signed the sweeping overhaul to the state's election laws in March.

  • The law, called Georgia’s Election Integrity Act, 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.
  • Voting activists say the measures are intended to target heavily Democratic jurisdictions and will hurt Black and Latino voters the most.

The big picture: The announcement comes just days after Senate Republicans blocked a sweeping voting rights package that would overhaul federal elections and combat state voting restrictions. President Biden has called the Georgia voting law "Jim Crow in the 21st century."

What to watch: "This lawsuit is the first of many steps we are taking to ensure that all eligible voters can cast a vote, that all lawful votes are counted, and that every voter has access to accurate information," Garland said.

  • "The Civil Rights Division continues to analyze other state laws that have been passed, and we are following the progress of legislative proposals under consideration in additional states," he continued.
  • "Where we believe the civil rights of Americans have been violated, we will not hesitate to act."

This story has been updated.

Go deeper

Justice Department investigating conditions in Georgia state prisons

Georgia Diagnostic Prison in Jackson, Ga., in 2002. Photo: Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images

The Justice Department on Tuesday announced a statewide investigation into conditions of prisons in Georgia, focusing on violence and abuse among inmates.

Driving the news: The investigation will focus on determining whether prisoners are provided with "reasonable protection from physical harm." It will also look at whether LGBTQ prisoners are protected from sexual abuse by other prisoners and staff.

Updated Sep 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

California Gov. Newsom survives recall election

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) defeated a Republican-backed effort to remove him, AP projected on Tuesday night.

Why it matters, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Tuesday's results highlight the limits of Republicans trying to use Trump tactics in a deeply Democratic state.

"Big Lie" hits California recall election

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The "Big Lie," a falsehood peddled by Donald Trump that the 2020 election was "stolen," is now being peddled by conservative figures amid other down-ballot elections, most notably, the California recall election.

Why it matters: Now that the precedent has been set, some conservatives will likely use unfounded allegations of election fraud as a basis for undermining all potential election outcomes they don't agree with.