BLOCKED! Sec. Hargett’s Voter Registration Criminalization Bill Blocked By Federal Court

Today a federal court has blocked the unprecedented Tennessee law passed this past session that restricts voter registration drives, subjecting people to unprecedented civil and even criminal penalties simply for turning in insufficient voter registration forms.

The bill was pushed through the Tennessee legislature by Secretary of State Tre Hargett after the Tennessee Black Voter Project registered over 90,000 people in 2018.

A judge had just struck down Hargett’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by voter registration groups earlier this week, undressing the bill as a naked attempt to suppress the vote. READ OUR POST about that HERE, where we went into the back story of the ugly law. In that ruling, Judge Trauger echoed many of the criticisms levied against the bill when it was being debated in the legislature.

This was a big win for the voting rights groups.

Here’s the federal court’s opinion in its entirety. A win for democracy. Hopefully it will hold.

“[T]hat voting is the ‘political right . . . preservative of all rights,’ is not just a comforting aphorism; it reflects … that, in the American system of governance, every decision to grant, preserve, or take away a right can be traced … back to an election.”

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