Following a lawsuit by a liberal group, a federal judge refused to block Georgia’s new election integrity law from taking effect because the court didn’t want to impact upcoming elections.
“The Court is not persuaded by Plaintiffs’ argument for a bright line exception to Purcell because they have alleged First Amendment harm. Plaintiffs have not provided authority, nor is the Court aware of any, that would support this interpretation of the law,” U.S. District Judge J.P. Boulee ruled, rejecting the challenge by the Coalition for Good Governance, per Just the News.
Boulee added that he was disinclined to “change the law in the ninth inning” when Georgia has runoff elections for seats in the state House coming up later this month.
“Election administrators have prepared to implement the challenged rules, have implemented them at least to some extent and now would have to grapple with a different set of rules in the middle of the election,” Boulee wrote. “The risk of disrupting the administration of an ongoing election...outweighs the alleged harm to plaintiffs at this time.”
This ruling marks the first time Georgia’s newly passed election law passed a legal test, though it still faces a second challenge filed recently by the Department of Justice.
Executive director of the Coalition for Good Governance Marilyn Marks said more lawsuits should be expected challenging other parts of the law.
“We’re concerned about the voter confusion that will no doubt occur with these little-known rapid changes to the rules, including the required information on ballot applications and the short deadline for applications to be received in this last week before the election,” Marks said in a statement.