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DOJ Sues Georgia Over Voting Law

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
The Truth Network Radio
June 29, 2021 1:00 pm

DOJ Sues Georgia Over Voting Law

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow

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June 29, 2021 1:00 pm

The Department of Justice (DOJ) sues Georgia over new voting law. The DOJ and Attorney General announced this lawsuit last week. The Sekulow team has analyzed the lawsuit and today we're telling you about it. Georgia isn't the only state who has new voting laws. Have they truly violated Federal laws or are they being unjustly targeted? Jay, Jordan, and the rest of the Sekulow team break the lawsuit down, give their expert legal opinions and tell you what happens next. All this and more today on Sekulow .

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Today on Sekulow, the Department of Justice sues Georgia over new voting law.

What happens next? Live from Washington, D.C., Sekulow Live. We are scrutinizing new laws that seek to curb voter access and that where we see violations of federal law, we will act. Phone lines are open for your questions right now. Call 1-800-684-3110. In keeping that promise, the Department of Justice is suing the state of Georgia. And now, your host, Jordan Sekulow. Welcome to Sekulow. We talked about this last week when the Department of Justice and the Attorney General announced this lawsuit against the state of Georgia, specifically the new voting law there. We told you we would analyze it and then we would discuss it on the broadcast. We're ready to do that today on Sekulow. We're taking your calls, your comments as well.

1-800-684-3110. If you want to get on this conversation, remember there's another 14 states that follow Georgia in passing similar laws. Not exact because under the Constitution, that's not how it's done. There's not a universal way of voter laws.

But what you can do is compare and contrast where the Georgia law sits today and where other laws around the country stand as well. And so you can compare to say, okay, what about in these deep blue states in the northeast, what are their laws like? Well, if you look, for instance, in Georgia, in-person early voting. So that's when you basically can choose the site you want to go to anywhere in the state.

There's usually no restrictions on location at all. You just have to have certain requirements that you're a registered voter in the state, basically. And it goes for 17 days. Under the new law in Georgia, 17 days of in-person early voting.

Only nine days in New Jersey or New York. So right there, right off the top, Georgia has got about double the amount of time to go vote before and to go vote early as well. And I think that that's key to point out here.

That's just one right off the top. 17 days versus nine days. People talk about all these different provisions requiring voters to apply for mail-in ballots, to have to give a driver's license. NAACP has come out and said this would exacerbate existing racial disparities in absentee ballot rejections. That provision on licensing or state ID requirements to get the absentee or apply for a mail-in ballot is identical to the same provision in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

No lawsuit is being filed by the Department of Justice against Maryland, against Pennsylvania. By the way, they weren't filed against New York and New Jersey, so you've got to allow more early voting. It wouldn't be the federal government's job to tell these states how many days you've got to have early voting. We've now gotten to a point where we accept early voting as kind of the norm.

That's pretty new with technology. Early voting wasn't the norm that you could just go pick any polling location for three weeks. And there's a lot of questions about whether or not it's really right as voters.

You can't constitutionally mandate that. Right, because there's a question about whether you should even be voting three weeks before because so much can happen. Well, I mean, there's an argument, and I think a valid argument, that early voting, which I think is good, but early voting that was, let's say, 90 days out, as you just mentioned, it would be an entirely different set of facts and circumstances in the election at that point. And, Harry, there's nothing in the Constitution that requires early voting, although Georgia has a very liberal early voting requirement. There's a voting day.

Absolutely. But I think, as a predicate, we should note that a fundamental principle of Anglo-American law is that we are presumed innocent until we are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Now, I recognize this is not a criminal law issue, but it's also important to recognize that Attorney General Garland has simply reversed this presumption. He assumes that Georgia is guilty unless they can adduce evidence that they are indeed innocent, even though the Georgia law fully complies with the Constitution. So, folks, we're going to take your calls, your comments on this, the idea, again, politicizing voting, dividing the country along these racial lines, which is, I think, part of the strategy here with this lawsuit specifically. Because we pointed out, what about all these other states where Georgia is more generous? Are you filing lawsuits against them? Are they violating any rights there?

Where is the line? We'll be talking about it today on Secular. We remain Congress and in the public arena, and we have an exceptional track record of success.

But here's the bottom line. We could not do our work without your support. We remain committed to protecting your religious and constitutional freedoms. That remains our top priority, especially now during these challenging times. The American Center for Law and Justice is on your side.

If you're already a member, thank you. And if you're not, well, this is the perfect time to stand with us at ACLJ.org, where you can learn more about our life-changing work. Become a member today, ACLJ.org.

Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. We'll show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, playing parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. Welcome back to Sekulow.

Share this with your friends and family on Facebook, Periscope, YouTube as well. Get your comments in. As you know, the state of Georgia, so the states feel like the laws were during COVID that they were kind of haphazardly applied, that there were loopholes in the laws that allowed it for non-state actors to gather ballots, put out ballot boxes. And so the states said, okay, we looked at what happened this last election cycle. We're going to go back into our law.

Tighten some things up. Right, exactly. It's not to say we're not going to allow early voting. We're just going to make it a little bit clear about what you have to do for early voting. What you have to do, these ballot drop boxes will be official state ballot drop boxes. They're not going to be non-profit groups and random people harvesting ballots.

And maybe your ballot gets to the right place and maybe it doesn't. You don't have to worry whether the state is involved. So it's actually putting more bureaucracy in place. But yes, but doesn't that make actual sense that if you're going to have ballot box drop off points, which again, it's not constitutionally required. The state doesn't have to do that. That's what the whole fallacy of this Department of Justice lawsuit. If you're going to have a ballot drop off point, and Andy, you said this and you spend a lot of time in Georgia, that these were unmanned. They were, it was a ballot drop off point next to a newspaper stand.

That's correct. Explain it. Yeah, I am a Georgian. I live in Georgia. I vote in Georgia. I've lived in Georgia for 50 years.

It's my home state. And one of the things that alarmed me is going down one of the main thoroughfares in Atlanta, Ponce de Leon Avenue, I noticed a ballot box for the dropping of absentee ballots or any kind of mail-in ballots that was simply unattended next to a newspaper stand. There was no surveillance person there. There was no law enforcement person there. There was no one guarding it.

There was no one watching it. And all you had to do is go in and throw the ballot. So that this law, I think, that was passed by the legislature was called the Voter Integrity Act, and that's what it's designed to do. What's so disturbing to me and the challenge that has been raised here by the Department of Justice is they treat minority citizens, Harry, as if they are literally second-class citizens in that, you know, the argument is actually made that allowing for a requirement of a voter ID, which by the way is required as Jordan said in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and in Georgia, the voter ID could be a utility bill. But that requiring it and requiring it a certain amount of days is just disproportionately unfair to the minority communities as if they cannot follow the rules. I mean, to me, that's the racial prejudice. I think you're absolutely right, and it is a fundamentally racist idea. The Justice Department claims that the Georgia law is racist.

Why? Simply because it changes the voting integrity rules in Georgia without the permission of elites in Washington. Instead of reviewing the Georgia law honestly and fairly and thoroughly, and instead of believing that African American voters are just as competent as any other human being, excuse me, the DOJ prefers to believe that any change in the law is racist, and that African American voters are so fundamentally incompetent that they need the assistance of elites in Washington to figure it out, to get to the polls, to actually acquire sufficient voter ID items such as a license or some other form of identification. I think at the end of the day, the approach that is taken by the DOJ hearkens back to the history of the Democratic Party, unfortunately, where the Democratic Party specialized in voter suppression.

And so while I would oppose all forms of voter suppression, whether it's coming from Democrats or Republicans, it's important to keep in mind that the history of Georgia is largely grounded, if we go back far enough, in Democrat Party politics. They include individuals like Josephus Daniels, who was the Secretary of the Navy in the Woodrow Wilson administration. He was an unreconstructed racist. He was an individual who tried to deprive African American voters of their right to vote quite successfully in the state of North Carolina. And guess who was his assistant secretary?

None other than Franklin Delano Roosevelt. So it's very, very important to look at the history of the Democratic Party and not be confused with respect to the history of the present day Republican Party. Well, they jump out, so they target Georgia. Georgia's been at the forefront of so much of these politics because the Senate race is there, Stacey Abrams' role, the way that I think the laws were taken advantage of, and it was chaotic. And so Georgia said we don't want to have chaos every election cycle. We don't want to have people feeling like the integrity of their vote doesn't matter, showing up doesn't matter. So we need to make it clear, what are the rules of the game here?

And we're going to put it out two years in advance. So I think it is, it's so demeaning to a group of people to say we're going to put the rules of the game out a couple years in advance so all the nonprofit groups know what the rules are. And instead of saying, wait, we've got to undo these laws because this is too restrictive or this group can't handle this law or this rule, to me that is just the whole problem with if you look at these, if you look at law in itself that way, or rules in itself that way, you have to be, again, it's just suspect to treat a whole group of people as if this is too difficult to follow. These standards would be too difficult.

And as we've already walked through, there are more generous standards in the state of Georgia than many states across the country. That doesn't mean that New Jersey and by the way, New York need to change how long. I don't think they need to allow for longer necessarily early voting. I think early voting has gotten out of control, to be honest with you. Someone who works in politics, I'll go to Thad Bennett, Washington, D.C. Thad, we work towards election day, but that's not really how campaigns work anymore because you have to imagine that half the vote may be in before you're even done putting out your final message to voters.

No question about it, Jordan. I mean, I would first start by saying I think that what you're seeing now, the process you described as states take another look at how to run the mechanics of their elections. Jordan, this is how the framers intended it. That's why they gave the authority to the state legislators. They wanted them to take a deliberate sort of long term approach on how their elections would run. And Jordan, they didn't want every state to look the same. They didn't want it to be one size fits all. So if you look at the contrast that you were laying out, you're going to see more restrictive laws in some states, maybe less restrictive in others, but it's right in the mainstream of what you see across the country.

Jordan, that was by design. What was not by design was what we saw in 2020, where there was a scramble. These changes were made in a rush. They were not as deliberate. And so now as states look to recalibrate, you see these threats coming from the federal government.

Jordan, I would maybe inject one other thing into this conversation. I think it's a little bit interesting to note that this lawsuit from the DOJ comes in the wake of what? It comes in the wake of a failed legislative effort to federalize elections. So to me, when that effort failed, this is a second step to say, well, if we can't get it all, we're still going to get as much power in Washington, D.C. through the DOJ as we can. Can I say something on that point?

Because I think fan raises a very important point, and that is you got to understand something. The administration is going to do everything they can to change the rules. Now, for instance, in the back in the Georgia situation. Georgia lost the All-Star game, Atlanta did, to Colorado because there was such an uproar over this bill that they moved it to Colorado. Colorado voters have two days less than Georgia voters do for early voting. Georgia has two days more than the state they moved it to. Atlanta and most of the metropolitan city areas of Georgia are minority-controlled governments, which is fine.

That's the way it works. Colorado has one of the lowest state populations of minority citizens. So the law is better in Georgia for early voting than Colorado.

City governments are controlled by minority in Georgia, not in Colorado, and this is that, again, it's exactly what you said. It's treating people as if, and you and Jordan both said this, they can't follow the rules. Absolutely, and this approach, ultimately at the end of the day, disproportionately harms African Americans.

So the approach taken by elitists is grounded in nothing less than virtue signaling on anabolic steroids. In other words, they're basically trying to demonstrate to the rest of us how virtuous they are, but at the end of the day, they are engaged in policies that have a disproportionately adverse effect on African American voters, African American businesses. And so at the end of the day, I would conclude they don't really care about African Americans, but they do care about one thing and one thing only, political power. And so at the end of the day, this is a power grab by Washington basically to destroy or to overturn the wishes of the voters in the state of Georgia. Again, you look to the laws in New York, you look to the laws in New Jersey, you look to the laws in Pennsylvania, you can go against states which, DOJ, how do you argue with the fact that Georgia has got laws that are, again, I'd say more generous is the best way.

It's not right or wrong, it's more generous than other states, and yet you're still alleging. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive, and that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support, and the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. The challenges facing Americans are substantial. At a time when our values, our freedoms, our constitutional rights are under attack, it's more important than ever to stand with the American Center for Law and Justice. For decades now, the ACLJ has been on the front lines protecting your freedoms, defending your rights, in courts, in Congress, and in the public arena.

And we have an exceptional track record of success. But here's the bottom line, we could not do our work without your support. We remain committed to protecting your religious and constitutional freedoms.

That remains our top priority, especially now during these challenging times. The American Center for Law and Justice is on your side. If you're already a member, thank you. And if you're not, well, this is the perfect time to stand with us at ACLJ.org, where you can learn more about our life-changing work. Become a member today. ACLJ.org. Welcome back to Sec Hill.

We are taking your phone calls to 1-800-684-3110, your comments on Facebook, Periscope as well. I just want to keep going through some of these other examples because a lot of this was the banning of water. Remember when this first came out, it was not true. Yeah, they were going to ban water. No, because people had not read the law and not understood the implications of the law. In New York, again, there's a prohibition on providing meat, drink, tobacco for freshmen or other provision with a retail value of more than a dollar. So more than a bottle of water, and it's prohibited in New York within 100 feet of the entrances of polling places. That is part of the New York law. In Georgia, this does not stop the voting center.

So all of the different places. You can put out water receptacles. They allow for all that. It specifically allows for that.

It specifically says, this is how you should do it. And this is, again, as a state, should be able to respond. If they see an issue with a group that looks like they're giving out a little bit too much, so it's a little bit more than just water. It's a little bit more of too much of an incentive to go vote.

That's the idea. You don't incentivize voting. So the buying votes are basically encouraging people, the only reason you should do this is because you're getting X, Y, and Z. That is not why you go vote in the United States of America or any country that allows voting. And you're constantly trying to combat those bad influences. That's the whole idea is that you can convince people to vote the way that you want because you will offer this kind of services or offer this kind of food, whatever, and they'll wait in line longer, stay in line longer.

You don't do that. And you've got to combat that. We had a mess in our country in 2020. The elections, people lost faith in our electoral system. It doesn't matter if they were right or wrong in that thought. They lost faith.

You can't argue with that fact. People didn't trust the process. So these states have gone through and said, we need to make sure that at the end of the day, whether your candidate won or lost, your focus is not that you lost the process, that the process defeated your candidate or the person that you wanted to win. And so while this is an issue, I think it's very real because people have got to, at the end of the day, at least trust the system. You might not like the outcome, but if you don't like the system itself, then you raise a whole host of issues and you repeat 2020 over and over and over again.

Let me ask all of you this. How many 2020s do you want to live through without the states looking at their laws saying, how do we prevent this so that people aren't hosting rallies saying the vote was rigged in this state or the vote was, this was phony or this was fraud and who controlled this dropbox? The fact is in Georgia, non-state entities had dropboxes that were harvesting ballots, but what rules applied to them if they didn't like where they were harvesting those ballots? If they could then look at, okay, well, we know this is a Republican area or this is a Democrat area, so we'll just toss these out.

I mean, who's in control? So in Georgia, what did they say? We're going to put more of these boxes out, but they're going to have to have, you know, they're going to be an official location like libraries, state buildings, localities that we're not going to allow outside groups to run our election system. So you look at some of the situation, like there's a question raised in the Georgia case that forcing election officials to wait until the polls close to start counting votes, and again, this is kind of the allegation, this would allow people to sow doubt over the outcome of an election. Well, a lot of states you don't pre-count. In fact, Delaware, Joe Biden's home state, does not allow Andy the pre-counting of election. Now, if a state wants to pre-count, that's fine too. But mandating it from the Department of Justice seems way over the top when the President's home state where he votes has a different position.

And that's the same in New York too, Jay. Well, I think that the whole thing is, and I think Thanh mentioned it before, and then Ari adverted to it as well, and that's the federalization of the election process. They failed to get their law through the Senate, so they're going to decide to do it through litigation in the federal district courts. What they're trying to do is to irrigate and concentrate power in Washington, D.C., and to tell us in the states how to vote, what to vote, when to vote, how to vote, where to put our machines, when to send out our absentee ballots, when not to send them out, when you can mail-in ballot, when you can't mail-in ballot, you know, whether you can have a voting day. Maybe they're going to come up with eventually saying to the Department of Justice that you can't have a voting day. It's just going to be come one to serve all.

That's the problem that I see is the federalization of the process and the concentration of power in Washington. Let's take a phone call. Yeah, Tara's calling from California online too. Hey, Tara, welcome to Sekulow. You're on the air.

Hello, thank you for taking my call. Quickly, Stacey Abrams is on record as saying she wanted everyone to vote, including illegals. Will they bring that up in this situation? As a black woman, I am so fed up with this racist notion that we are too stupid to survive in this, that we are so oppressed that we just cannot think for ourselves. Is there any outreach to the African-American community to actually let them know what's going on? Because a lot of people are checked out.

They have no idea that this is going on. You know, Tara, I appreciate your call very much. And let me tell you this.

We reach a pretty large African-American audience in our state stations all over the country. And I'm going to tell you this. The idea that illegals have the right to vote is versus unconstitutional. But you raised the same point that Professor Hutchinson's been raising. And that this approach in and of itself, Harry, is racist.

Absolutely. So I think it's very, very important to actually look at the specifics of the law. So, for instance, if you compare the Georgia law to New York, New Jersey, to Pennsylvania, guess what? And Delaware, Joe Biden's home state. It turns out that Georgia makes it easier. Georgia provides more access. Georgia provides more rules with respect to allowing absentee voting than many of these states. Yet the individuals in the blogosphere, the social media accounts, they are simply claiming without a shred of evidence that the Georgia law is indeed racist. The only way the Georgia law is racist is if African-Americans are deprived of their own agency, their own ability to make their own decisions, their ability to read.

And at the end of the day, what we should keep in mind is that the opponents of the Georgia law are opposing the Georgia law not on the basis of principle, not on the basis of a specific provision they dislike, but simply because they think the Georgia law will make it easier and fairer for people to fully express their opinion. At the end of the day, the Department of Justice believes that a fair voting scheme is only a scheme that favors the Democratic Party. This is precisely the presumption that the Democrats made 150 years ago. They attempted to control the outcome of elections. They successfully disallowed African-Americans from voting. And now they want African-Americans to vote, but so long as those African-Americans vote for one party and one party only. And the second point, which I've made previously, is at the end of the day, the DOJ wants to control every single aspect of what goes on in each and every state in America. The American people should not allow that to happen. And the question is, this is now a very real issue. This is not a discussion about politics anymore. This has now become a lawsuit by the federal government, the Biden administration, filing the lawsuit against the state of Georgia to try to validate the new law and the new provisions, which I think we've gone through very clearly to say these new laws and new provisions, again, when you look at the other states, it's still more generous, more generous to voters.

We'll be right back. For decades now, the ACLJ has been on the front lines, protecting your freedoms, defending your rights in courts, in Congress and in the public arena. The American Center for Law and Justice is on your side. If you're already a member, thank you. And if you're not, well, this is the perfect time to stand with us at ACLJ.org, where you can learn more about our life changing work. Become a member today.

ACLJ.org. Live from Washington, D.C., Sekulow Live. And now your host, Jordan Sekulow. Welcome back to Sekulow.

We are taking your phone calls to 1-800-684-3110. As we told you last week, happened on Friday, the Department of Justice announced it was filing a lawsuit against the state of Georgia because of their new voting requirements and rules. It really is an update to existing law and these provisions, which at first, I mean, the political discussions, oh, Georgia's banned water at the polling place.

That's not the case. Georgia's, this is targeted to make more restrictive voting. And you look at the law, you compare it to other states, much more generous. And I use that word because I don't think the other states have to change their rules either.

They shouldn't all have to be at the standard of Georgia. I mean, these states that are in the South who have dealt with these histories before have actually gotten, they've been under much more scrutiny. It used to be they couldn't even pass these laws without first going through scrutiny at the federal level. Finally, the Supreme Court said no more to that.

That doesn't stop the federal government, though, from filing this type of lawsuit. So that is where we are today. Do you want a repeat of 2020 where people don't trust the system, don't understand the system, especially the early voting versus absentee voting, mail-in voting versus absentee voting. Absentee voting is a specific ballot you request because there's a reason why, and you meet one of the reasons in the absentee ballot, that you can't vote that day. And that used to be it with absentee ballot. And then some states started, and they could do this at the state level, say, what if we just did all mail-in ballots? So maybe that's more effective for our state. No one filed a lawsuit and said, well, how could this disproportionately affect people in this part?

Does the mail get delivered as clearly here as it maybe does in rural areas? And what is the timing? When do you have to have it in?

When do you have to return it by? But no one has said again that those are violating anyone's civil rights, that having rules to the game violates civil rights. In fact, I think you have to have rules that people have to be able to understand. In 2020, there were no rules. People were making up rules at the county level.

Because of the pandemic, they were just... Remember the states were just saying, oh, at the local level, they'll make up their own rules. So these county registrars were having to figure out what to do about this ballot harvesting, what to do about early voting, what to do about these outside groups that were getting involved. And all of this was being done because of the situation with COVID. And you had state laws, Andy, on the books that were being overridden by secretaries of state. That's right. And the court's then saying that's fine. That's right. The secretary of state, I believe, of Michigan was one example of that on her own, deciding to send out ballots and so forth.

So, you know, again, it brings us back to the subject. The Constitution vests the means, manner, and method of conducting elections in the state legislatures and in the sovereignty of each individual state. These are attempts to federalize the election process entirely.

That's what I see this as. And unconstitutional, in my view. I think this lawsuit that was filed against the state of Georgia, the election board, and the secretary of state is immensely defensible, Jay.

I think it is a case that we are going to look at very carefully. Well, because, look, this is an important issue of federalism, but this is another example. The New Hampshire secretary of state, Bill Gardner, who's a Democrat, by the way, had this to say about H.R. 1, and they're using this to basically put H.R. 1 into effect. Our state constitution requires that a voter must be present to vote unless the voter is absent from the town or city or physically disabled. This would also be taken away by H.R.

1. Contrary to our constitution, H.R. 1 would require no excuse, absentee voting, early voting with multiple election days, and continuing to receive and count ballots after the election. This is a total violation, if this approach goes into effect, of violating exactly what the constitution says in the elections clause and the electors clause.

And that's what we're looking at at the ACLJ as a question of voter integrity. Folks, again, we're going to take your phone calls, your comments as well. We've got those ready to go.

We come back for this break, 1-800-684-3110, or get them in on social media, Facebook, YouTube, and we'll get to your comments, your questions as well. We'll be right back on Secular. We remain Congress and in the public arena, and we have an exceptional track record of success. But here's the bottom line, we could not do our work without your support. We remain committed to protecting your religious and constitutional freedoms. That remains our top priority, especially now during these challenging times. The American Center for Law and Justice is on your side.

If you're already a member, thank you. And if you're not, well, this is the perfect time to stand with us at ACLJ.org, where you can learn more about our life-changing work. Become a member today, ACLJ.org.

Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, playing parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. Welcome back to Secular. We are taking your phone calls to 1-800-684-3110 to talk to us on the air, 1-800-684-3110. Barbara's called in from Pennsylvania on Line 1. Hey, Barbara, welcome to Secular. You're on the air.

Thank you for taking my call. I'm wondering how much clout our state legislators have and what can they do to fight the feds taking over the voter rules? Let me address that a little bit on the front end and I get the fan a comment, too, and we'll all weigh in. First of all, look, this lawsuit by the Department of Justice is, Stan, exactly what you said is an attempt to get in place H.R. 1, which is failing in the House and Senate or failing in the Senate. So they're doing the litigation to get the same result. Yeah, absolutely. They wanted a complete federal takeover and they attempted to do it through the For the People Act, H.R.

1, S. 1. They were not able to accomplish it. So they're moving to the Department of Justice approach. And, Jay, I think the soundbite that you played or that you read from the New Hampshire secretary of state is really relevant on this, because, look, you don't have to agree with where Georgia comes down on their law or where the Democrat state of New Hampshire comes down on their law or the Democrat led state of Colorado comes down on these laws to recognize that they're still the right entities for setting the laws in their states. Much better than Washington, D.C. Look, if you live in a state where you think maybe the laws are too restrictive or maybe you think they need to be more generous, you can go and try to accomplish a change. Jay, if they were to achieve a federal takeover of all of these mechanisms, everything from what voter ID is required to when you can early vote to whether or not you can be automatically registered, if all of that is housed in Washington, D.C., when you start seeing abuses of the legislative process, guess what you're not going to be able to accomplish change in? That process, when it's controlled by the states, you can actually accomplish that change. And like Jordan has said several times during the course of this broadcast, after 2020, a bunch of these states, both red and blue by the way, Jay, have recognized that they need to make changes, and that's the process that we're seeing move forward.

If they move it to Washington, D.C., good luck with that. And Barbara, as to your question about what state legislatures can do to hang on to state election laws against DOJ, they're going to have to defend. And we are looking right now, for instance, in this particular case, Harry and Andy and a team of ACLJ lawyers are looking at this case as to whether the ACLJ, because we are constitutional experts, will come in and also file a brief in this particular case.

Andy? That's right, Jay. We're going to look at this from a constitutional point of view. We're going to make our analysis of the case. We're going to look at the allegations of the complaint. We're going to be looking at what the state and the defendants respond in their answer or their motion to dismiss, whatever it might be. And then we're going to make an independent judgment as to what we should come in on and what position we should advocate, because that's what we do. We litigate constitutional issues.

You know, there's two things, Harry, here that I find interesting. Georgia, so unlike Georgia, Delaware has never allowed early voting in person. They've never allowed early in-person voting, where you can go in 30 days before 20 days before 17 days before a week before, which Georgia does allow. Delaware, the President of the United States' home state, doesn't allow that until now.

They will start doing it in 2022. Voter identification, Georgia has now caught up with Minnesota in requiring a driver's license or other type of ID for absentee ballot verification. Voter identification is not a racist-based approach to voting, Harry.

Absolutely not. Voter ID laws, in essence, are the bedrock of democracy. It allows the government to identify who is entitled to vote and then allows them to vote. It's important to note that 80% of African-American voters support voter ID laws. It's also important to note that a majority of voters, both Democrat and Republican, support voter ID laws. And thirdly, it's important to note that voter ID laws are supported by something called common sense. So at the end of the day, the objections to voter ID regulations in the Georgia law amount to a rejection of common sense. But keep in mind that Democrats are quite prepared to reject common sense when and if it favors their political party. So at the end of the day, they want to eliminate federalism.

They want to federalize the entire election system and they want to try to ensure that they will win each and every upcoming election going forward. The American people should reject this highly undemocratic process that the Democrats have engaged in. And Democratic Attorney General Garland, I think, should be ashamed of himself, in my opinion. He, in my opinion, now lacks the integrity that he was once famous for. I mean, this is, again, you go to the White House press briefing, Jen Psaki, take a listen to this, this dance they're trying to do of whether this is about politics or whether this is actually about the law and their true belief about the law.

Take a listen. Are you saying that the White House had no contact with the Justice Department about this decision to move forward in Georgia? Is the Justice Department completely independent?

No, I'm not. It's a priority to the President, and yes, of course, we are allowed to know, but it is, I was not meaning to convey that, but it is a decision made by the Justice Department to move forward. But clearly, a priority of the President to take action wherever we can in government to make it more accessible to vote for people across the country. So again, it's a back and forth.

It's not, it is, it's not, it is. The truth is, this all goes to the idea of how do we get the federal government involved more at the state level. So inside this Department of Justice lawsuit is a request to authorize the appointment of federal observers of Georgia elections. They are taking what Georgia did and they're saying, if you look at this as a whole, this is a, this is a racist response to the 2020 elections, not, this is a response to the chaos of the 2020 elections. That no state, our country, doesn't want to keep going through that. We have to have the rules of the game clearly laid out so that all the candidates know what to follow, all the campaigns know what to follow, and we know what the laws are and we know what you can do and what you can't do.

And what's, and that's by the state for the states to determine. And this is, this is all again, and this doesn't matter, it does not matter to the Department of Justice, these provisions which have made it more generous in the state law or these comparisons. What they will try to say is you can never compare Georgia historically to New York.

You can never compare Georgia historically to Pennsylvania. And so they're always going to be treated differently, even though the Supreme Court has said history has passed, it's time to stop treating states differently based off what happened in 1865. You know, I think the reality that is when you read the lawsuit that sets in is the bias or the animus by the Department of Justice here against Georgia for making common sense constitutional modifications to their voting laws, which are still more generous than most states, shows you what's really going on here.

This is, whatever Jen Psaki wants to say, and at the end of the day, this is politics. It is politics. It's the old-fashioned political grab by the Democratic Party. I think Harry Hutchison pointed it out very astutely when he said, look at the history of the Democratic Party in terms of civil rights legislation. Who opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Jay? It was Democratic senators. This was the Democratic Party that was pressing this.

And as Jordan has just said, what the Georgia legislature did in Senate Bill 202 was a response to the chaos of the 2020 election and an attempt to reestablish integrity in the election process. That's all it was. And if you look at this complaint, as I have, compared to other states, like, for example, we said, you know, in New Hampshire, there is a voting day or absentee ballot only. That's it. That's in New Hampshire.

You can't do any other way. When is Merrick Garland going to bring a suit against New Hampshire? I'm waiting for that. Is that going to happen? Or Delaware, or Colorado, for example, that has never allowed an early person voting 15 days, excuse me, voter service in polling centers must be open 15 days before an election. That's two fewer days than Georgia allows for early in-person voting.

I think we should go after Colorado, too. Here's the other thing I'm trying to figure out. What's the remedy here? I mean, they've got a lawsuit.

What is the remedy? Strike down and say you must have two months of early voting? I mean, what is the possible remedy that the Department of Justice can get for this? You ask a brilliant question, Jay, and I think the answer would be apparent if the DOJ had a coherent position. The DOJ is a festival, if you will, of incoherence.

They don't really know what they're doing. So, for instance, if you look at Kristen Clarke, the first black woman to serve as Assistant Attorney General to the Civil Rights Division, she outlined a number of features which she says violate Section 2 of the law, including the fact that the law in Georgia was passed in an irrationally short period of time. Two hours is not enough. Perhaps three hours. Three and a half hours. This is absurd.

Two days. So, at the end of the day, the Justice Department... Total power grab. So, what Vance said and Jordan said, total power grab. Precisely. This is a power grab by the federal government. They're going to try to get a decree to govern the election laws of Georgia as if we're dealing with 70 years ago.

Yeah, exactly. In a state that is probably one of the largest African American political influences in the country, which is great. Yeah, this is why, again, the Supreme Court has already said these laws should no longer apply this way, and this is another example of it. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

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Take your phone calls to 1-800-684-3110. Previously, you know, under our laws, this was something that was accepted until about less than 10 years ago. The Department of Justice had this rule for states that were considered states that had the Jim Crow laws in place.

Basically, this is the south, southeast of the United States. Any time you change the election rules or redistricting, the list went on. It had to be pre-cleared by the Department of Justice. So you couldn't actually pass the law without first going through pre-clearance. Then the Supreme Court – and by the way, politically, this divided people. There were a lot of people who were upset with this decision by the Supreme Court to say, you know what, this law has been in place long enough.

It served its purpose. No longer – that doesn't prevent the federal government from going in like they have here in Georgia and filing a lawsuit after a law is passed. But we're not going to make these states go through the pre-clearance process. And Andy, specifically in this lawsuit, they want that to be reinstated again indefinitely so where states like Georgia have to – basically the Department of Justice, this is how it says, retains jurisdictions and requires certain new voting changes for Georgia be subject to a pre-clearance requirement pursuant to Section 3C of the Voting Rights Act. The reason why they're having to ask for that is because that's no longer automatic. That's no longer required.

That's right. The Supreme Court of the United States did away with the pre-clearance requirements where you either had to give pre-clearance for any changes in your voting laws from the Attorney General of the United States or from a three-judge federal court. That was done away with by the Supreme Court of the United States.

This lawsuit that is being brought right now by Merrick Garland against the state of Georgia says Judge Boulay, who is the judge appointed to this case, who I might point out is an appointee of President Trump. We want you to retain jurisdiction of this case and require certain new voting changes to be subject to pre-clearance. So we're going now back to the 60s. We're going to take the state of Georgia, which has a black United States senator, the city of Atlanta, which has a black mayor and a black city council, the DeKalb County, which has a black commission, Cobb County, which is the second now most populous county, which is predominantly black and its public officials, Gwinnett County, and we're going to take all these things and say we're going to turn the clock back now and say you've got to have pre-clearance of your voting rules and we're going to tell you how to draft them out of Washington, D.C.

This, I think, again, goes back to 2013. This is a group that politically was upset with that, holding by the Supreme Court. They've constantly wanted, how do we get back? And that's where they will draw the line. They want to say this isn't New Hampshire, this isn't Pennsylvania, though the courts have said actually they should be treated like that now. They should be back to being treated like New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. They have met the requirements. They have been under this federal pre-clearance process long enough, and now if you have issues with them, you can come back in the process if you have those issues.

But they will always try and treat these states differently, historically, even when the laws are more generous there. But here's the thing. If the law – first of all, if you look at what's at issue, is there anything in the Constitution that requires early voting? The answer is no. No.

Okay, that's number one. Number two, is there anything in the Constitution that requires ballot harvesting? No. Is there anything in the Constitution that says you have to have absentee ballots available 90 days before the election? No.

No. None of that is in the United States Constitution. What is in the United States Constitution? What's in the United States Constitution is the states have the right to establish their rules and regulations for elections. So New Hampshire has election day.

That's it, unless you qualify for the absentee vote or disabled. So, you know, the dangerous precedent of this, and the reason why we're looking at filing a brief here is it is a federal power grab, but it is a federal power grab that is so outside the bounds of the Constitution. Now, the question that you've got to ask yourself is, while I think we can beat this one back – I'm talking to our team here – Than, I think they're going to still try the legislative route.

I don't think that's over. No, absolutely they are, and it goes directly to the conversation that Jordan just had about pre-clearance. One of the things that Senator Manchin has said he is open to – you know, he's gotten a lot of press over the last couple of weeks over his initial opposition to S1 and then eventually supporting proceeding to it. But Jay, he's openly said that he's open to a discussion about expansion of the pre-clearance. So, you know, through the course of this lawsuit, I can certainly see him coming back and putting a proposal on the table that sort of starts with that and then gets to some of these other mechanics.

But Jay, you asked a second ago, maybe in the last segment, what the remedy is. What will ultimately satisfy the Department of Justice in this case? And I really think the answer to that is a political one. I think the only thing that will satisfy them is if a state votes blue. If they don't vote dependably blue, Jay, then I think you're going to continue to see these lawsuits, but New Hampshire, Colorado, New York, they're not going to see the lawsuits. And the remedy is going to also be that they want that the Department of Justice gets to oversee the election laws of the states. Harry, at bottom here, when you look at the law and when you look at the history and you put it all together, what's your sense of what's going on here? Well, I think it ultimately comes down to one thing and one thing only, that the Democrats from Washington wish to control each and every state with respect to their voting. And they want to ensure that voting, whatever the voting rules are, continues to favor them. So, for instance, if you look at this litigation, there's nothing that would prevent the DOJ, for instance, from suing the state of Georgia for its failure not to extend voting. Why? Because of inclement weather.

There was snow in Atlanta on, let's say, November the 3rd. They could decide, if we accept the validity of this litigation, that that should indeed be something that the courts should intervene on. They should extend voting. Perhaps they should extend voting.

When? Until the Democrats win. That ultimately is their objective. And then they say that in joining the defendants and their agents and successors in office from excessively limiting the number of absentee ballot drop boxes and prohibiting their availability after hours and in the days leading up to the election, who in the world gives that authority to the federal government or a judge or the Department of Justice?

Nobody. Yeah. And the whole idea, again, what is the after hours? What is the prohibiting their availability? The idea that the non-state actors were running these drop boxes, and this was one of the issues of 2020 and how do you have an election during a pandemic and what exactly do you do? Well, you know, I think it's important to note that a lot of states were delegating authority down to the very most local level to try and get through the election, and it caused a lot of problems. It caused a lot of lawsuits. It caused a lot of questions about the integrity of the vote, because we've never seen before this mass mail-out of ballots that no one requested. And people gave these examples. If you had lived in a couple of different places in the last decade and they hadn't changed the voter rolls, you didn't ask for a ballot, but one came to you, and it was live. It wasn't a request. It wasn't even like they just said.

Yeah, lots of people on this happened. And so there were live ballots all across the country and these boxes to drop off so you have to show up even to the actual location. This idea was whether you believe that there was fraud or not, whether you believe all those issues, we shouldn't have that in the back of people's minds in the United States of America during an election. They should at least have the confidence that the vote was counted legally and everybody had to play by the same rules. And if you didn't play by those rules, there were consequences. But you knew what the rules were. It wasn't about how long it took to pass the law, but it was how long do you have to comply with this?

You've got years. They've had a couple of years to already comply with this before a major election in Georgia. They have time to figure out how to comply with the law. We're a nation of laws and rules. That's what makes America one that's fair for everyone. And the idea that they want to take this out and show more doubt into the process would help. It may help Democrat candidates, but it hurts the country long term.

And 2020 and the election was the example of that. For decades now, the ACLJ has been on the front lines protecting your freedoms, defending your rights in courts, in Congress and in the public arena. The American Center for Law and Justice is on your side. If you're already a member, thank you. And if you're not, well, this is the perfect time to stand with us at ACLJ.org, where you can learn more about our life changing work. Become a member today. ACLJ.org
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-25 22:49:55 / 2023-09-25 23:12:24 / 22

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