Thursday, January 20th, 2022

MSNBC contributor suggests ‘federal takeover’ of elections in Republican states: ‘This is an emergency’


An MSNBC political contributor said Tuesday that the Biden administration should send the government to Republican states for a “federal takeover” of elections, arguing that such a drastic measure is supposed to be taken if it is determined a state is “violating people’s civil liberties.”

“This is an emergency,” exclaimed Dr. Jason Johnson while discussing a lawsuit brought against Texas by the Department of Justice over the state’s redistricting maps. Johnson was responding to “Black Votes Matter” co-founder Latosha Brown, who claimed without evidence that Republican states are passing legislation to gain the authority to “step in” and “throw out” any election results they don’t like. 

The DOJ lawsuit alleges the districts drawn by Texas lawmakers violate the federal Voting Rights Act by diluting the voting strength of minority voters.

The lawsuit comes just weeks after the DOJ sued Texas over a separate voting law, SB 1, which bans 24-hour polling locations and increases ID requirements.

BIDEN JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SUES TEXAS OVER REDISTRICTING MAPS

Johnson made reference to the U.S. government’s actions following the Supreme Court’s Brown vs. Board of Education ruling when discussing the state of voting in America. 

Attorney General Merrick Garland steps away from the podium after speaking at a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Attorney General Merrick Garland steps away from the podium after speaking at a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“I know this is something that hasn’t been done in 50 or 60 years, but you know what happened when the federal government said, ‘Hey, Brown vs. Board of Education, we have to integrate schools?’ They sent troops. They sent federal officials to places and said, ‘You will let Black children into this school.’”

Johnson then said that a similar approach could be taken against states regarding election processes and voting “concerns.”

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“This administration can say, we have concerns about how elections are being conducted in this particular state. We’re going to send officials down there. We’re going to send election observers. If we think that people’s civil rights are being violated, we will do a federal takeover.”

The political contributor, appearing to anticipate a backlash, said he knew that “right-wingers” would likely “scream” about his comments, but attempted to assuage concerns.

A voter stands in a booth at a voting station at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) during the mayoral election process in New York on June 12, 2021. 

A voter stands in a booth at a voting station at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) during the mayoral election process in New York on June 12, 2021. 
( ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)

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“This is what the federal government is supposed to do. If states are violating people’s civil rights, you’re supposed to step in,” Johnson said.  

Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.