A federal judge appointed by former President Donald Trump has refused to block Georgia’s new election law, granting a victory to the Republicans after a left-wing group had requested a preliminary injunction.
In his ruling on Wednesday, July 7, U.S. District Judge J.P. Boulee stated that “The Court is not persuaded by Plaintiffs’ argument for a bright line exception to Purcell because they have alleged First Amendment harm. Plaintiffs have not provided authority, nor is the Court aware of any, that would support this interpretation of the law.”
The Republican-sponsored Election Integrity Act of 2021 was enacted in March, seeking to eliminate fraud, secure election integrity by enforcing conformity across the state, but the Democrats claimed that it creates unnecessary obstacles to voting, particularly for black people.
According to ABC News, Democratic activists, led by the Coalition for Good Governance, had asked the judge to prohibit Georgia from enforcing some sections of the new law, including the observation of elections and a new deadline for requesting absentee ballots. They claimed that those parts of the law could threaten voting rights.
Lawyers for the state countered that the provisions reinforce protections and are necessary for election integrity.
Judge Boulee then decided not to block those parts of Georgia’s new election law before the runoff elections for two state House districts next Tuesday, saying that making changes before the upcoming runoffs could risk “disrupting the administration of an ongoing election.”
In response, the Coalition for Good Governance executive director Marilyn Marks said that “We’re concerned about the voter confusion that will no doubt occur with these little-known rapid changes to the rules.”
Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger argued that this is “just another in a line of frivolous lawsuits” against the state’s election law, adding, “We will continue to meet them and beat them in court.”