On 6-25-2013, the United States Supreme Court handed down a decision that the Republican National Committee chief had been praying for over the last four years.
The higher court, for all intents and purposes, destroyed the Voting Rights Act of 1965...the very law that promised that every American old enough to cast a ballot could finally do so without having to fight poll taxes, trick questions from election commissioners and their lieutenants, and so on.
The SCOTUS vote went 5-4...and you can just about guess who the five justices are and who nominated them for the Supreme Court.
Last week's ruling struck down Congress' power to actually enforce the Voting Rights Act, a law whose fifth section requires Federal permission for certain states to make changes in how those states regulate elections...because those states, coming into 1965, had such a terrible history of enforcing the right to vote.
In 2006, both divisions of Congress overwhelmingly approved renewing Section 5 of the VRA...but didn't renew the coverage formula in Section 4 (despite SCOTUS warning the US senators and US representatives to update said formula).
On the other hand, those same elected officials didn't REALLY think that this new US senator from Illinois was going to make a White House bid for 2008. And they were scared that New York's newest US senator- the nation's previous First Lady- was going to try to move back to 1600.
Instead, the Democrats have won the last two US presidential elections and four out of the last six...and could make it three wins in a row if they take the 2016 White House Derby.
Young voters of all colors helped transform Barack Obama from that new US senator from the Land of Lincoln into the nation's 44th chief executive. Helped get Obama reelected, too.
And so did most African-American, Asian-American, and Hispanic-American voters.
And that's what Chief Justice John Roberts and associates Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito had in mind when they decided to strike down the VRA's Section 4.
They weren't thinking about the US Constitution.
Alito, Kennedy, Roberts, Thomas, and Scalia were only thinking about helping the Republican Party.
You notice how all those states that had put in voter-suppression laws since 2009- only to see them struck down by previous Supreme Court decisions- immediately put those laws back in force.
And that means Jim Crow isn't really dead...just asleep.
Hey, dig this: History repeats itself.
You know why history repeats itself?
It's because we human beings, especially when it comes to government decisions, just don't learn from our mistakes...let alone the ones made by our mentors and by their mentors. (We've had TWO World Wars, for crying out loud!)
The justices have now made it clear that it's up to Congress to cook up a new Section 4 formula- one for the early 21st Century- and save the VRA.
And the five justices I named off know it.
Come on now...do you REALLY think the 113th Congress- the second straight one with a Republican-led House- has the guts to take this kind of action, knowing darn good and well Washington's Republicans are so unwilling to get behind ANY legislation that rank-and-file Americans actually want?
When the John Boehner-led House passes any legislation, it's just garbage.
Instead of depending on the John Boehners and Mitch McConnells, we need to get smarter than they are.
We need to call their bluff and get them out of the nation's capitol.
After all, since they're only serving themselves and not the vast majority of citizens, why should these self-serving you-know-whats stay in there and waste time and money...OUR money?
We voters get another chance on 11-4-2014.
Voting Rights Act or no Voting Rights Act, we can't afford to stay home on that Tuesday.