Federal judge halts effort to block portions of Georgia voting law

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A federal judge on Wednesday blocked a motion that would halt the implementation of some aspects of Georgia's new voting reform law.

U.S. District Judge J.P. Boulee ruled that the timing of the request was improper due to the close proximity of the state's local runoff elections, set for Tuesday, and he determined that a change in Georgia's voting measures would hamper ballot casting already underway.

"We are at the juncture where all of the challenged provisions are already the law. Therefore, an injunction would not merely preserve the status quo; rather, it would change the law in the ninth inning," the judge wrote, according to CNN.

Boulee, a Trump appointee, pledged to reserve judgment on the law at the moment and will render a decision "at a later date."

“This is just another in the line of frivolous lawsuits against Georgia’s election law based on misinformation and lies. We will continue to meet them and beat them in court," Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said in a statement.

The decision follows a lawsuit from the Coalition for Good Governance, a self-described pro-First Amendment organization, which challenged a provision of the state's voting bill that mandated residents request absentee ballots at least 11 days prior to an election.

The organization's legal challenge is one of several filed since the bill became law in late March.

The Justice Department sued the Peach State last month over the election law, approved three months ago, which implemented voter ID requirements for absentee ballots, limited the use of voting drop boxes, and standardized early voting hours, among other provisions. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Georgia's reforms were "enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of black" residents to cast ballots.

Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, said the Biden administration's lawsuit was evidence of a "far-left agenda."

“This lawsuit is born out of the lies and misinformation the Biden administration has pushed against Georgia’s Election Integrity Act from the start," the Republican governor said in a statement. “Joe Biden, Stacey Abrams, and their allies tried to force an unconstitutional elections power grab through Congress — and failed. Now, they are weaponizing the U.S. Department of Justice to carry out their far-left agenda that undermines election integrity and empowers federal government overreach in our democracy."

Several corporations spoke out against the state's voting changes and echoed claims that the legislation was discriminatory. In one high-profile instance, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and draft were moved out of Atlanta in April over the proposals.

“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred Jr. said in a statement at the time. “We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.”

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Conservatives argue the legislation bolsters election integrity and makes it more difficult to commit fraud in both local and national races, though liberal counterparts insist it limits the voice of minorities.

Kemp's office declined to comment on pending litigation when asked by the Washington Examiner.

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Tags: News, Law, 2020 Elections, Georgia, Justice Department, Voter Fraud, Election Lawsuits, Brian Kemp, Joe Biden, Biden Administration, Campaigns

Original Author: Jake Dima

Original Location: Federal judge halts effort to block portions of Georgia voting law

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