AG Merrick Garland is giving a speech on voting rights at the DOJ starting momentarily — will thread highlights/notable quotes here
starts by shouting out newly confirmed @KristenClarkeJD as leader of the DOJ civil rights division
Garland: "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 giving us a brief overview of the history of voting rights
Garland says action to expand voting rights "must be followed by meaningful enforcement," citing Congress passing the Klu Klux Klan Act and creating the DOJ following the 15th amendment
Garland giving us a history of Jim Crow and the Voting Rights Act, citing lots of landmark cases familiar to election law nerds
Garland rebukes the ongoing recount effort in Maricopa County (without specifically naming it/mentioning AZ) as "based on disinformation," noted the DOJ has warned AZ it could be running afoul of federal laws
Garland reiterates that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in 2020, says: "many of the changes are not calibrated to address the kinds of voter fraud that are alleged as justification."
Garland: "We are again without a preclearance provision, so the Civil Rights Division needs more lawyers"

Says DOJ will DOUBLE its staff members working on voting rights in the civil rights division
Says the division is "scrutinizing" proposed and current laws and will take enforcement action as appropriate,

"We will apply the same scrutiny to post-election audits to ensure they comply with statuary requirements," he says, saying the DOJ will publish more guidance too
Garland calls on Congress to pass the For the People Act and The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act #S1 #HR4

"We will not wait for that legislation to act, but we must be clear-eyed" about Shelby's impact
Garland says threats on election officials "undermine our electoral process and violate a myriad of federal laws," says the DOJ's criminal division will prosecute those who violate the law in threatening election workers/poll workers (more on that here):…
Big takeaway: Garland really, really wants Congress to restore federal preclearance, which we've been without for 8 years now — he emphasized multiple times that it was the DOJ's most effective tool to stop discriminatory voting laws
And on redistricting: Garland said that since this year "will likely be the first since 1960 to proceed without preclearance provisions, we will publish new guidance to make clear the voting protections that apply to all jurisdictions as they redraw legislative maps"
("year" in this case means redistricting year)
my wrap-up: AG Merrick Garland rebukes dubious ballot reviews 'based on disinformation' and says the DOJ will double its voting rights staff…

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More from @grace_panetta

30 May
tonight's mood:
have learned so much about Texas legislative/parliamentary procedure tonight...much to ponder
update: the Texas state senate is currently discussing a resolution to explain changes to SB7 that weren’t in any previous versions of the bill
Read 14 tweets
27 May
👀 from @RonBrownstein's latest: "Biden is planning to deliver a speech to underscore his commitment to voting rights that will likely come within the next few days."…
More interesting stuff: "And although White House officials consider the laws offensive from a civil-rights perspective, they do not think most of those laws will advantage Republicans in the 2022 and 2024 elections as much as many liberal activists fear."…
“I think our feeling is, show us what the rules are and we will figure out a way to educate our voters and make sure they understand how they can vote and we will get them out to vote,” the official told me."…
Read 5 tweets
24 May
NEW: In 2020, 6 swing state governors endured overt attempts to overturn their election results from Trump & his allies. Those offices & dozens more governorships are up for election next year, setting the stage for voting/election showdowns in gov races:…
Governors are in the immediate position of signing or vetoing the election laws that come to their desks, certifying election results, and in 2020, enacting consequential emergency regulations around voting — all of which made them targets of Trump's ire…
.@JessicaTaylor says voting/election controversies are "becoming base issues" and "in a midterm election now, both parties are going to need to generate excitement." It will likely a bigger role in nationalized governor's races in AZ, FL, and GA…
Read 5 tweets
24 May
And yet, she declined to acknowledge that there's a link between the ongoing lies about/efforts to overturn the 2020 election and current efforts by state legislatures to curtail the powers of state and local election officials in her #AxiosOnHBO interview that aired last night
I blogged about it — Cheney is trying to thread the needle of condemning Trump's election lies without also calling out the state legislators codifying them into law in states around the country, in many provisions that are solutions in search of problems…
Read 4 tweets
6 Apr
NEW: 5 seasoned campaign finance experts told me that the Trump campaign's 2020 "money bomb" recurring donation ploy for fast cash (as reported by @ShaneGoldmacher) is unlike anything they've ever seen before — but the legal implications are still murky…
"I’ve never seen anything like this in campaign fundraising," @FredWertheimer, who has been doing campaign finance/ethics work for 4+ decades, told me. He called the recurring donations scheme "a complete ripoff" and a form of elder abuse…
"I've been here almost six years, and I can't think of anything particularly like this in which people did not know that they were making recurring contributions," Jordan Libowitz of @CREWcrew told me.…
Read 5 tweets
24 Mar
.@SenateRules is holding a hearing on #S1, the Senate version of #HR1, starting in 10 minutes. Witnesses will include @EricHolder, three secretaries of state, @Tiffany_Muller, @thetrevorpotter, @FredWertheimer, and more:…
Ranking member @RoyBlunt jokes that every member of Congress thinks they're an expert in two areas: "elections and air travel."
Senator Blunt says it's "never mentioned" that over 700 bills with provisions that would expand voting have been filed in state legislatures (per the @BrennanCenter) — but I wrote about it in depth last week!…
Read 31 tweets

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