GOP Leaders Announce Intervention in DOJ Lawsuit Against Georgia

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel (OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

By Fran Beyer    |   Thursday, 08 July 2021 02:09 PM

Two national GOP organizations on Thursday came to Georgia’s defense in a Department of Justice lawsuit that alleges a recently passed election law violates voting protections for minorities.

The Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee announced they are intervening to defend Georgia against the “politically-motivated lawsuit.”

“The RNC is intervening in this case because the security of the ballot is more important than Democrat power grabs,” chair Ronna McDaniel said, adding in a statement that Democrats are “weaponizing the Justice Department by trying to strong-arm the state of Georgia into making its elections less secure.”

Republicans argue the election overhaul bill signed in March by GOP Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp puts common-sense voter protections into law, and reduces voter fraud while leaving voting options in place.

But Attorney General Merrick Garland, who announced the lawsuit in late June, accused Georgia of enacting the law “with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color.”

The DOJ, in its complaint, cites the law for imposing new restrictions and additional steps on the process of casting absentee ballots — changes that come in the context of a “dramatic increase in Black Georgians’ use of absentee voting” in the 2020 election cycle.

Georgia, a traditionally deep-red state, broke for President Joe Biden over former President Donald Trump in a major upset. And Democrats also won the state’s two U.S. Senate seats in early January runoffs, giving the party an effective majority in the chamber.

After the 2020 elections that put Democrats in control of the White House and Congress, Republicans in numerous states put forward election-reform proposals that mirror parts of Georgia’s law, CNBC noted.

But McDaniel and Scott said they’re confident of victory, citing the July 1 Supreme Court ruling that upheld two Republican-supporting voting rules in Arizona that critics had argued were discriminatory.

And Scott added: “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.

“Republicans will not stand for such abusive overreach by the DOJ and the NRSC is proud to join the RNC in this worthwhile fight.”