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J.J. Colagrande Headshot

Supreme Court Decision Will Backfire on Republicans

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Last week, two gigantic rulings came crashing down on our culture.

Like Godzilla and Mothra clashing in an epic battle, decisions on marriage equality and voting rights appear mired in conflicting viewpoints.

SCOTUS' decision to strike down DOMA electrified the progressive community and possibly foreshadowed marriage equality for all. So, according to so many progressives, if SCOTUS gets it completely right one day, how could they possibly get it so dreadfully wrong the day before, when they basically gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965?

Maybe they didn't get it wrong.

According to the Washington Post:

The court didn't strike down the law itself or the provision that calls for special scrutiny of states with a history of discrimination. But it said Congress must come up with a new formula based on current data to determine which states should be subject to the requirements.

And SCOTUS' decision shouldn't come as a surprise.

Chief Justice Roberts warned Congress four years ago that its decision to continue using a formula based on "40-year-old facts" would lead to constitutional questions.

"Congress could have updated the coverage formula at that time, but did not,' Roberts wrote. "Its failure to act leaves us with no choice but to declare [the formula] unconstitutional."

The Supreme Court usually gets it right.

All SCOTUS did was mandate Congress to come up with a modern solution.

This immediately irked all opponents of the ruling who (justifiably) have no faith in Congress acting on anything. But opponents would be wise to slow down, now Congress should be forced into taking on the issue. And if they don't, they will face continual pressure in the media and at home. Congress has continuously voted to extend the Voting Rights Act, most recently in 2006, when the extension was passed almost unanimously in both the House and Senate. Justice Ginsberg probably got it right in her dissent when she said don't get rid of something just because it's working. And maybe you caught the recent article in Slate, highlighting the mind-bending deplorable voting tests from the 1960's.

But SCOTUS has a point when they say this isn't 1960 anymore. It really isn't. And tests like that will never again determine if someone can vote in this country. Obviously, this ruling opens the door for states like Texas and Virginia to go ahead with Voter ID laws. Admittedly, these voter suppression tactics disenfranchise minorities and may have an effect in short term elections. But, the more states attempt to suppress the minority vote in any shape or form, the louder will be the national chorus, which will not stop, die, or fade away. This will only continue to fire up minorities, who are not stupid or without information, nor are they shrinking in voice, size, or organization -- and looking into the future, it will only continue to split the Republican Party into two dueling wings, one who appear sensible and fiscally conservative -- the other seemingly radical, antiquated and unsustainable.

The once insane idea of a red state like Texas turning blue doesn't seem so crazy. And if something like that happened, you could kiss the Republican Party as we know it goodbye.