Merrick Garland must put his 'concern' for voting rights into action: Conservative columnist
Judge Merrick Garland testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be US Attorney General(AFP)

Attorney general Merrick Garland is showing unnecessary deference to his predecessor and former president Donald Trump, according to one conservative columnist.

President Joe Biden's attorney general has expressed concern for voting rights and continued disinformation about Trump's election loss, but Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin said he must take action to preserve democracy and undo the previous administration's corruption.

"To be blunt," she wrote, "the desire to appear nonpartisan should not prevent the Justice Department from holding the department and the prior administration accountable for its actions."

The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division has sent a letter of concern about the so-called audit still underway in Maricopa County, Arizona, which some Trump supporters believe will restore the former president to the White House, but Rubin said that's not enough.

"Letters of 'concern' are helpful, but has the department demanded that the operation cease or even that Arizona officials answer questions?" she wrote. "Without putting Republicans engaged in such activities on notice of potential liability, they have no reason to halt their attempts to undermine the 2020 election."

Rubin said GOP voting restrictions must be fought with force.

"The department must demonstrate — not just promise — its desire to be aggressive, creative and uncompromising in attempting to strike down Jim Crow-style laws and end fraudulent audits," Rubin wrote. "With or without new lawyers, the Justice Department needs to put Garland's fine words into action."