Today, the Justice Department filed a “statement of interest” in litigation challenging Florida’s election integrity law, SB 90. The statement opposes dismissal of the lawsuit. In effect, DOJ wants to delay election reforms while litigation drags on. But is more lawyering, which prevents laws passed by duly elected representatives of Floridians, really the interest of the American people?
As Politico explains, “In its court filing, attorneys for DOJ take aim at an effort by Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee to convince U.S. District Judge Mark Walker to throw out the lawsuit ahead of a planned trial in late January.”
This action now marks the third time — after the DOJ sued Georgia in June and Texas in challenging their election integrity laws — that the federal government has attempted to involve itself in court challenges to new state election integrity laws this year.
The Attorney General has hired more lawyers and requested Congress provide hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to sue states:
The Administration has requested Congress provide a total of $183.2 million for the Civil Rights Division — the largest budget increase in the division’s history.
And what’s the ultimate impact to all the voters in Florida, Georgia, and Texas? Their hard-earned money now goes to both federal and state government lawyers on opposite sides of litigation suing each other. And while the cases drag on, the laws their elected representatives passed do not go into effect. What voting procedures are for state and local elections occurring now remains uncertain, leaving state and local election officials ill-prepared.
The state legislatures are closer to the people and best situated to know their voters and how best to protect their rights, particularly in state and local elections already occurring. All three states — Florida, Texas, and Georgia — passed pro-voting rights laws that combat fraud against vulnerable populations — the elderly, minorities, and those with disabilities. The interest of the federal government should be justice under the law for all Americans, not the limited interests of lawyers, political parties, or advocacy groups that seek more power and influence over elections outside the legislative process.