The lawyer common wrote about how the 1965 Voting Rights Act gave the Justice Department energy to block “discriminatory voting changes,” whereas offering a examine on this energy. This authority was later gutted by the Supreme Court’s determination in Shelby County v. Holder, which has left the division powerless when it comes to voter protections, Garland wrote.
“Instead, the Justice Department has been left with costly, time-consuming tools that have many of the shortcomings that plagued federal law prior to 1965,” he mentioned.
Garland has repeatedly affirmed that voting rights is a central precedence within the Biden administration, within the aftermath of the 2020 election. The lawyer common has vowed to protect Americans’ rights to democracy, and has elevated the division’s employees devoted to implementing voting rights this summer time.
“There are many things that are open to debate in America, but the right of all eligible citizens to vote is not one of them,” Garland said in a June speech. “The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, the right from which all other rights ultimately flow.”
Voting rights laws faces dire odds in Congress, given Democrats’ slim majorities in each chambers, and civil rights teams and activists have grown more and more annoyed with the dearth of progress in Washington as legal guidelines proceed to pop up in Republican-controlled states that make it more durable to vote.
In March, the House handed the Democrats’ election and ethics reform bundle, and Democrats are expected to introduce a bill as quickly as this week geared toward restoring components of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and named after civil rights icon John Lewis.
Garland talked about Lewis twice in Thursday night time’s op-ed, pulling a quote from a column printed after his demise final yr.
“Lewis recalled an important lesson taught by Martin Luther King Jr.: ‘Each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something,’” Garland wrote.