- Jun 26, 2016
- Reaction score
- Attorney General Merrick Garland walks softly, but carries a big stick-
There’s an art to the subtle threat. Not the bold, blustery rages that former President Donald Trump would fly into behind closed doors, but the gentle reminder, said with a smile, that your life will be made miserable if you don’t watch your step.
On Wednesday, the Department of Justice released two documents warning states that they have to follow federal law before, during and after elections. Without naming names, the first set of guidelines generally called out states that have moved to change their election laws to restrict voters’ access to the polls after the 2020 election. The second is focused on the never ending “audit” still taking place in Arizona, along with potential copycats.
The Justice Department has already warned the Arizona Senate, which approved the cyber ninja farce, that the probe might risk violating federal law. Wednesday’s guidelines are more explicit about what laws might have been broken — and the consequences for breaking them.
Taken together, the two documents can be considered part of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s “f--- around and find out!” doctrine on voting rights. (Not that he’d ever call it that.)
Garland announced in June that his department will make countering new election restrictions a major priority for the Civil Rights Division. Already this year, 18 states have enacted 30 laws that make voting more difficult, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Hundreds more bills have been proposed in states across the country. The new guidelines are a sharp promise that any future shenanigans will be met with swift action.