I Think It Likely The Georgia Jim Crow Voter Suppression Law Will Be Held Unconstitutional.


The ink was not yet dry on the monstrosity that Governor Kemp had signed last week, when sensible humans had already filed a federal lawsuit in Atlanta to enjoin it — on First and Fourteenth Amendment grounds, as well as the more prosaic “thwarting of federally protected (voting) rights, under color of state level law” — all as set out in 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988.

This is a well-pleaded complaint — one that sets out what actually happened in Georgia, succinctly — now, a bit:

. . .Over the past year, Georgia voters turned out in record-shattering numbers. In the 2020 general election, nearly 5 million Georgians voted, compared to 4.16 million in the 2016 general election. In the January 2021 runoff elections for both of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats, nearly 4.5 million voters cast ballots. The sky-high turnout in the runoff election bucked past trends, when voter participation typically dropped from the general election. . . .

After the high-turnout general election, officials conducted multiple recounts and audits. Supporters of former President Donald J. Trump filed several lawsuits seeking to overturn the general election’s results, falsely alleging widespread fraud and misconduct on the part of elections officials. No court in any of these lawsuits found support for these litigants’ fanciful claims. After the senatorial runoff elections, Secretary Raffenspergger declared in a nationally televised interview that Georgia “had safe, secure, honest elections. . . .”

The Bill’s supporters also claim that it will “ensure” election integrity. But legislators and the Secretary himself have admitted that Georgia’s elections are already safe and secure. The Secretary has described the state’s election administration system as the “gold standard” for the United States. At no point during the 2020 election cycle did any elections official, any lawsuit, or any voter reveal anything in Georgia’s election administration requiring any of the measures in the Voter Suppression Bill to “ensure” election integrity. Notably, this was not for want of trying.

None of the Bill’s burdensome and discriminatory changes to Georgia’s election code will increase the public’s confidence in the state’s election administration or ensure election integrity. . . .

In the wake of general and runoff elections that saw Black-preferred candidates prevail in the presidential and U.S. Senate races for the first time in decades, Republican majorities in the Georgia General Assembly passed several restrictions on voting rights.

First, the General Assembly enacted a requirement that voters requesting an absentee ballot submit with their application their driver’s license number, their personal identification number on a state-issued personal identification card, or a photocopy of other specified forms of identification. This provision will disproportionately affect voters who are elderly, indigent, or from minority communities. According to one national study, as many as 25% of Black voters do not possess a current and valid form of government issued photo ID, compared to 11% of voters of all races. . . .

Georgia’s GOP will be a laughing stock (and ultimately, a 21st Century pariah) for trying this “Jim Crow in a fancy suit” approach — of that I am confident. Now hoping that all in the middle south are safe and dry, this morning — after over five feet of flood waters push over riverbanks in some places in middle Tennessee. . . be safe, one and all.

[And, in a trivial footnote, it looks like I will have beaten President Obama’s brackets by three full games, no matter how the rest of the tourney unfolds. . . perhaps more if I get a few breaks. Grin. . . .Well played just the same, Mr. President.]

नमस्ते

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