HAPPENING NOW: PILF Testifies to Senate Judiciary Committee on Proposed Voting Legislation

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (S. 4) Would Put Partisan Bureaucrats in Total Control of Elections

(Washington, D.C.) – March 12, 2024: Today, Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) Litigation Counsel, Maureen Riordan is testifying before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (S. 4).

S. 4 will allow partisan bureaucrats at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to micromanage changes to polling places, voting hours, voter ID, registration requirements, and every single imaginable scenario for state and local elections. Watch the full hearing on the bill here.

In prepared remarks, Riordan argued that S. 4 would give radical bureaucrats at the Department of Justice total control over our elections.

“If passed, the proposed Act will once again give tremendous power over the election procedures of every state and locality to partisan bureaucrats within the Voting Section.”

Riordan noted that bureaucrats in the DOJ Voting Section have abused this power in the past and have even been sanctioned by federal courts.

“The Voting Section has a long record of abuse by its lawyers. Their improper collaboration while reviewing Section 5 submissions has been sanctioned by courts. Between 1993 and 2000, the Voting Section has been sanctioned $2,358,687.31.”

Under S. 4, Riordan noted that the DOJ would have to approve nearly every single change to our elections.

“The proposed practice-based preclearance triggers will require most electoral changes to be submitted despite the inconsequential nature of the change. For example, a polling place change does not just include a change in physical address. It includes any change to the polling place. If a polling place is moved from the high school gym to its cafeteria, the change must be submitted for pre-clearance.”

In conclusion, Riordan argued that in the last 11 years, the DOJ has only brought 9 Section 2 lawsuits, proving there is not blatant discrimination that requires this type of federal power grab of our elections.

“Permanent provisions of the Voting Rights Act such as the current version of Section 2 still prohibit discrimination and provide the Justice Department with the ability to challenge election procedures. Since the Shelby County decision in 2013, the Department has only brought 9 Section 2 lawsuits. That’s not even 1 a year. If rampant discrimination in voting exists why has DOJ not brought cases challenging these ills?”

Watch the full Senate Judiciary Committee hearing here. Maureen Riordan’s prepared opening statement can be read here.

Public Interest Legal Foundation
 (PILF) is the nation’s only public interest law firm dedicated wholly to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections. PILF has brought lawsuits and won victories in Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and across the United States.


For media inquiries, please reach out to Lbowman@publicinterestlegal.org

Public Interest Legal Foundation