FIRST ON FOX: Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has written to his counterpart in Georgia, backing the state over what he described as an "absurdly partisan" lawsuit from the Department of Justice over the state’s election integrity laws.
"As the Attorney General of Arizona, another state where the DOJ is attempting to intimidate local officials, please know that we stand with you in this fight and will do whatever we can to push back against this blatantly political and unmerited attack," Brnovich wrote in a letter on Friday to Georgia AG Christopher Carr.
Brnovich was reacting after the DOJ announced it was filing a lawsuit against George over its voting procedures signed into law in March, claiming that it is in violation of the Voting Rights Act.
"The right of all eligible citizens to vote is the central pillar of our democracy, the right from which all other rights ultimately flow," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. "This lawsuit is the first step of many we are taking to ensure that all eligible voters can cast a vote; that all lawful votes are counted; and that every voter has access to accurate information."
The lawsuit claims that several provisions of the bill were adopted in order to deny or abridge the right to vote on account of race, arguing that the cumulative effects of the laws on Black votes, in particular, was known to lawmakers.
It challenges provisions including one banning government entities from distributed unsolicited absentee ballot applications, a shortening of the deadline of absentee ballots, regulations on voter ID, the bar on counting out-of-precinct provisional ballots cast before 5 pm on Election Day and the limitation of the use of absentee ballot drop boxes.
But supporters of the law and similar efforts have argued that their measures implemented in the wake of the 2020 election are designed to secure the ballot box and protect against voter fraud. Garland has also criticized efforts by Arizona to conduct an audit of the 2020 election – which led to Brnovich accusing Garland of "posturing."
"Let's be clear, this isn't a lawsuit, this is a campaign flier," Carr said of the Georgia lawsuit on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Friday. "The Department of Justice is playing politics. They're not upholding the rule of law. And this blatantly political lawsuit is legally, factually and constitutionally wrong. Anybody who looks at our law can see that it improves security, it improves access, it improves transparency in Georgia's law. And that's why it's going to be upheld."
Brnovich praises Carr’s efforts and Georgia’s refusal to bow to pressure on the matter: "Unfortunately, the DOJ seems more concerned with appeasing far-left pundits and radical activists than upholding the rule of law."
He also cast the lawsuit into the context of efforts by Democrats in Congress to pass the S.1 election reform bill.
"The DOJ’s announcement today seems absurdly partisan, coming on the heels of S.1, a defeated effort by Democrats to roll over the powers reserved for the states and nationalize our elections," he says. "The executive branch is not attempting to override the will of the legislature."
Brnovich notes his own state’s efforts on election integrity before the Supreme Court and warns against a potential federal attack on state control of elections.
"Today the fight has come to Georgia," he says. "Tomorrow, it will be in Arizona, and if left unchallenged, the DOJ will intimidate other states in an attempt to undermine the Constitution and force submission to the relentless will of the current federal administration. We must not be deterred by these threats."