Merrick Garland to announce Justice Dept. plans to protect voting access.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland on Friday plans to announce steps that the Justice Department can take to safe voting rights.

Mr. Garland’s plans, anticipated to be introduced Friday afternoon, come as Republican-led state legislatures push to enact new restrictive voting legal guidelines.

In greater than a dozen states, not less than 22 new legal guidelines have been handed that make it harder to vote, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, a progressive public coverage institute that’s a part of the New York University School of Law.

Democrats have filed lawsuits against some new voting laws, however that litigation might take years to wind its approach by way of the courts and should have little energy to cease these legal guidelines from impacting upcoming elections.

Two main federal election payments — the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act — are additionally the topic of fierce debate in Congress.

Earlier this week, Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, stated that he would oppose the For the People Act, dashing hopes amongst progressives that the far-reaching invoice supposed to combat voter suppression would ever grow to be regulation.

The invoice because it stands would roll again the measures in Republican state legislatures that restrict early and mail-in voting. The invoice additionally has an ethics portion, created in response to President Donald J. Trump’s willingness to ignore longstanding presidential norms.

Mr. Garland has stated that defending the appropriate to vote is one in every of his high priorities as lawyer common, and his high lieutenants embody high-profile voting rights advocates akin to Vanita Gupta, the division’s No. three official, and Kristen Clarke, the pinnacle of the Civil Rights Division.

Ms. Clarke’s lengthy profession advocating for voting rights protections — together with on the N.A.A.C.P. Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the New York lawyer common’s workplace and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law — will make her a key participant within the Justice Department’s work to protect voting entry.

But that work is made harder by a 2013 Supreme Court decision that struck down items of the Voting Rights Act, which pressured states with legacies of racial discrimination to obtain Justice Department approval earlier than they may change their voting legal guidelines.

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