Judge denies attempts to dismiss lawsuits over Georgia voting law

Eight cases survive initial challenges

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

A federal judge ruled Thursday against motions to dismiss eight pending lawsuits against Georgia’s new voting law.

U.S. District Judge J.P. Boulee’s orders allow the cases to move forward as they contest many provisions of the law, including stricter voter ID requirements, ballot drop boxes limitations, shorter absentee ballot request deadlines and a ban on handing out food and water to voters waiting in line.

Boulee denied arguments from the state of Georgia that the cases should be thrown out because of legal issues including whether the plaintiffs had a right to sue, suffered an injury or stated a claim for relief.

The merits of the cases will be determined after facts and evidence are presented in the case, Boulee wrote.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuits celebrated the decision that keeps their cases alive against Georgia’s voting law, Senate Bill 202.

“We are encouraged by the court’s decision to proceed with the challenge against Georgia’s anti-voter law,” said Rahul Garabadu, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, which represents plaintiffs including the Sixth District AME Church. “Georgia’s anti-voter law makes it harder to vote for Georgia’s citizens of color and citizens with disabilities, and we look forward to continue to fight this law in court.”

The plaintiffs include several nonprofit organizations and the U.S. Department of Justice, which alleged that the law targeted Black voters by restricting absentee voting.

Georgia’s Republican attorney general, Chris Carr, sought to dismiss the case in July, calling it “political posturing” filled with “innuendo and hyperbole.” Carr’s filing said the Justice Department targeted Georgia but didn’t sue several Democratic states with less voting access, including Delaware, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

The cases will now continue to move through the court system as the parties gather evidence and make arguments in court.