4.13pm BST

More from Attorney General Merrick Garland in announcing this lawsuit. He says “we are seeing a dramatic increase in menacing and violent threats ranging from the highest administrators to volunteer poll workers.”

Garland said the deputy attorney general would issue a directive to officials which would “highlight” the threats and launch a task force to investigate the threats.

If Georgia was still covered by Section 5, it is likely SB 202 would likely never have taken effect, Garland says

4.10pm BST

It’s official. The Justice Department is suing Georgia over its restrictive voting rights law. Politico reports:

The Justice Department is suing the state of Georgia over its controversial voting rights bill, a person familiar with the department’s plans confirmed.

Republican state legislators around the country have pushed a host of provisions that would make it more challenging for people to vote — moves that have targeted Democratic-leaning voters and disproportionately affect people of color.

Live on @MSNBC:

AG Garland announces Justice Dept. suing state of Georgia over recently enacted voting restrictions.https://t.co/RdYLvfum24 pic.twitter.com/bkgj2YMF4E

3.36pm BST

Meanwhile down in El Paso, the vice president is visiting a Customs and Border Patrol processing center.

Vice President Kamala Harris just entering the CBP Processing Center in Northeast El Paso. pic.twitter.com/4P87bQpsXZ

@VP lands in El Paso, Texas and speaks to the press. Says she had spoken about visiting the border in March and the visit today is “not a new plan.” pic.twitter.com/7wZ8I2B8Pw

NEW: On a press call about @VP Kamala Harris’ trip to El Paso tomorrow, @SymoneSanders46 says Harris will tour a CBP processing center in El Paso, meet with a group of advocates, make some remarks and take a “few questions” from reporters.

3.30pm BST

Soon today attorney general Merrick Garland and the Justice Department will announce that it is suing Georgia over a new voting law there.

SCOOP: Justice Department will announce at 11 it is suing Georgia over its new voter suppression law. This is first major action by Biden DOJ to combat GOP voting restrictions https://t.co/54mr2J0SCk

In its first major action to combat GOP voter suppression laws, the Biden Justice Department will announce on Friday that it is suing the state of Georgia over its new voting restrictions, a source familiar with the litigation told Mother Jones.

Gov. Brian Kemp has said “there is nothing Jim Crow” about the Georgia law, enacted in March, but it includes 16 different provisions that make it harder to vote and that target metro Atlanta counties with large Black populations.

3.19pm BST

We’re awaiting word from the Supreme Court on a voting rights case this morning but in the meantime the high court has also weighed in on a smaller case. According to Reuters:

(Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday narrowed the scope of a class action lawsuit against TransUnion in which thousands of people sought damages after the credit reporting company flagged their names as matching those on a government list of suspected terrorists and drug traffickers.

TransUnion had appealed a lower court ruling that had upheld a jury verdict against the Chicago-based company in the lawsuit and had ordered it to pay $40 million in damages. The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, stopped short of tossing out the jury verdict, but found there was insufficient evidence to show that all of the plaintiffs had been harmed by TransUnion’s conduct, meaning the amount of damages will be reduced.

2.50pm BST

Vice-president Kamala Harris is visiting the Southern border today amid ongoing criticism from Republicans about Harris’s absence from traveling there yet.

VP Kamala Harris boards AF2 to El Paso for her first visit to the border as VP. She was greeted by Sec. Mayorkas, Sen. Durbin and Rep. Escobar, all of whom are joining her on her trip. pic.twitter.com/GFr44Lw62Y

Vice President Kamala Harris will be in El Paso on Friday, where she will tour a Customs and Border Protection processing facility, meeting with advocates and NGOs. She will also be delivering remarks on her visit.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who has been helping with negotiations on immigration legislation on Capitol Hill, and Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, will be accompanying Harris and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on the trip.

2.30pm BST

Excerpts from a new book about Donald Trump’s presidency includes details about the 45th president’s increasingly violent language in the oval office.

CNN reports:

…the book reveals new details about how Trump’s language became increasingly violent during Oval Office meetings as protests in Seattle and Portland began to receive attention from cable new outlets. The President would highlight videos that showed law enforcement getting physical with protesters and tell his administration he wanted to see more of that behavior, the excerpts show.

“That’s how you’re supposed to handle these people,” Trump told his top law enforcement and military officials, according to Bender. “Crack their skulls!”

2.15pm BST

Good morning and welcome to Friday’s politics live blog. Former vice-president Mike Pence, in his most direct comments yet, sought to separate himself from former president Donald Trump on certifying the 2020 election results.

During a speech in California on Thursday night Pence, a potential 2024 presidential nominee, said “I will always be proud that we did our part on that tragic day to reconvene the Congress and fulfilled our duty under the constitution and the laws of the United States.”

Continue reading…

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/joebiden

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