Merrick Garland has a new plan to combat threats to voting rights

On Friday, Axios reported that Attorney General Merrick Garland is set to give a policy speech outlining "concrete steps" the Biden administration will take to protect voting rights.

"A DOJ official told Axios that Garland 'will discuss the central importance of voting rights to American democracy. He'll announce steps the department is taking to secure and expand the right to vote for all Americans, including in states seeking to curb voter access,'" said the report. "'He will also speak to the upcoming redistricting cycle, the first since 1960 to proceed without preclearance protections of the Voting Rights Act.'"

This comes as Republicans introduce legislation around the country to roll back access to the ballot, including in Florida, Georgia, Iowa, and Montana. One of the most egregious voter restriction bills proposed, in Texas, was temporarily thwarted after Democratic lawmakers walked out of the Capitol and denied a quorum, although the legislation could be reintroduced at a special session.

In addition to the DOJ's efforts, Vice President Kamala Harris has been tapped to direct the administration's efforts to pass federal voting rights protections. Two major voting rights bills are being considered by the Senate, including one that would overhaul campaign finance and redistricting and another that would require federal preclearance for changes to state voting laws, although it is expected Republicans have the votes to prevent either from advancing.