Conservatism Starts Here – bringing you CPAC, Congressional and State legislative ratings and sound policy proposals
June 25, 2021
America’s State Lawmakers
Dear State Lawmakers,
The Biden Administration’s Department of Justice just launched an attack on the Georgia Legislature for their work to protect the integrity of elections. This stands in direct opposition to the ideals of federalism upon which this nation was founded. It shreds the principle that in our republic, each individual has equal say in choosing who represents them.
Our Constitution created a federal government of limited and enumerated powers. Unless specified otherwise, it is the constitutional responsibility of the states and state legislators to determine policies for their people – and to be accountable politically to them for those policies. Nothing was more fundamental to our new nation than the exercise of the franchise its citizens had fought for and won.
With regard to elections, the Founders of our republic went even further than broad principles of federalism, specifically reserving to State legislatures the power to determine the “time, place, and manner” of holding elections. This wise provision has kept protection of voting for actual voters for over two centuries. Constitutional law and the Supreme Court have firmly established that States have the authority to craft their own procedures, expressing the will of their own citizens, in order to ensure their own elections (both State and federal) are fair, honest, and orderly. The State legislature of Georgia has done nothing other than what our Constitution and its people expect it to do. And they did it exceptionally well.
The Constitution also specifies precisely how the national government can legitimately address any concerns they may have about State election laws – it authorizes Congress to pass a law of its own without infringing on the unique needs of each state. But if the federal bureaucrats currently in control fail to pass a constitutional law, as they have just failed to pass the Corrupt Politicians Act, they may not cover up their failures by deploying the federal executive branch against a state. They may not attempt to achieve their partisan ends through harassing litigation and political agitation. Sadly, that is exactly what this highly partisan DOJ has announced it is doing.
In its complaint, the DOJ targeted several provisions of newly enacted laws in Georgia that are designed to keep elections fair and free in response to voters’ frustration with the 2020 election irregularities and their inability to be genuinely heard in court. Recent polls underscore that many of these provisions, especially the requirement to prove identity before casting a ballot, are overwhelmingly popular with the American people. Voter ID laws are common sense; two-thirds of States (including Biden’s home State of Delaware) currently enforce them. The DOJ has also condemned the prohibition of partisan ballot harvesting, electioneering efforts at polling places, and unsecured ballot drop boxes. Opponents of this legislation claim they want to increase access to elections. In reality, however, all they want is partisan power grab to dilute legitimate votes with unlawful votes to manipulate the outcome of an election.
In addition to suing the State of Georgia for preserving the integrity of their elections, the DOJ ordered that all federal prosecutors and the FBI focus on making sure States do not pass or enforce election integrity measures. Even after this blatant overreach, the DOJ implored Congress to pass laws to give it more power to nullify State election integrity laws. There are no two ways about it – this is blatant THUGGERY!
The action taken by the DOJ today demonstrates this administration’s determination to undermine states’ ability to govern themselves. United States elections must be decided by the people, not a self-perpetuating government of elites. The DOJ’s recent actions illuminate a politically driven decision with the 2022 midterm elections in mind. Its actions are designed to weaponize the power of the federal government to intimidate States attempting to empower all eligible voters (and only eligible voters) to make their voices heard at the ballot box – and to each vote just one time. This outrageous abuse of power must not stand.
The DOJ has a real job. It must fairly enforce the laws of the United States that actually exist, not use its litigation power to intimidate states into settling frivolous cases. This shameful and transparently partisan lawsuit by the Attorney General at Biden’s demand will not withstand the test of constitutionality, nor the test of time. It must be legally resisted by every State – not just by Georgia – because every State’s authority is undermined by this outrageous lawsuit. The integrity of our elections, as well as the integrity of our constitutional system, is at stake.
As a duly elected representative of the people, do not let the politically motivated DOJ intimidate you into surrendering your power. The DOJ’s attack on Georgia’s legislature is only the beginning of an all-out federal assault on state constitutional authority to administer their own elections – and no state is safe.
The American Conservative Union will always stand by you in your fight to ensure that elections are easy to vote in and hard to cheat. You know that this lawsuit is a prelude to HR 4 and the reintroduction of pre-clearance – a provision in the Voting Rights Act that was overturned by the Supreme Court in Shelby Co. v. Alabama. We will make sure the American public becomes well-versed in this despicable initiative.
Meanwhile, we will continue to hold lawmakers accountable to election integrity via our scorecards, and you can see all of the specific election bills we have scored here.
The American Conservative Union