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Brennan Center for Justice

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that works to reform, revitalize – and when necessary, defend – our country's systems of democracy and justice. At this critical moment, the Brennan Center is dedicated to protecting the rule of law and the values of Constitutional democracy. We focus on voting rights, campaign finance reform, ending mass incarceration, and preserving our liberties while also maintaining our national security. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting-edge communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them – in Congress and the states, the courts, and in the court of public opinion.

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Fresh wave of bills would curb voting nationwide as Georgia law keeps drawing fire

The pace of the drive to curb voting across the country is surging, despite the polarizing reaction to the sweeping election restrictions just enacted in Georgia.

The numbers so frequently cited with alarm by voting rights advocates in recent weeks — 253 bills proposed to make it tougher to participate in democracy in 43 states — were calculated by the Brennan Center for Justice. But the progressive think tank reported Thursday that those metrics have become woefully outdated:

In little more than a month, it calculated, the amount of restrictive legislation has soared 43 percent — to 361 bills now pending in 47 legislatures, almost all proposed by Republicans.

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Megan Varner/Getty Images

Demonstrators protest legislation placing new restrictions on voting in Georgia.

At a turning point for voting rights, direction signals point both ways

The public's access to electoral democracy may be about to dangerously contract — or else expand dramatically.

So far, the movement to restrict access to the ballot box has gotten by far the most play. The Georgia law enacted to national headlines last week goes way beyond barring water deliveries at polling places, in part by setting a disturbing precedent in stripping administrative power from nonpartisan election officials and placing it in the hands of politicians. Broad new curbs on voting in Iowa, enacted three week ago, include criminal charges for local officials who skirt the new rules. Six other states are considering similar moves to take power from nonpartisan election administrators.

Less noticed, meanwhile, has been a parallel movement to expand voter access in states literally from coast to coast.

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Voting
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Win McNamee/Getty Images

Protecting robust voting rights laws requires robust army of voting rights lawyers

Baker is the executive director of We The Action, a nonprofit that connects progressive advocacy organizations with attorneys who are willing to volunteer their legal expertise.

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Balance of Power
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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Donald Trump's hotel in Washington, D.C., is at the heart of the argument for legislation that would give teeth to the Constitution's emoluments clauses.

After four years of abuse, tangible fixes abound for restoring the rule of law

Kinsella is counsel and Weiner the deputy director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, a progressive think tank at New York University Law School.

This is part of a series advocating for legislation soon to be proposed in the House, dubbed the Protecting Our Democracy Act, designed to improve democracy's checks and balances by curbing presidential power.

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