The United States Supreme Court, believing in the tenet of conservatism, has started backing Republican efforts to promote voter suppression.
The US Supreme Court gave Republicans the leeway of their voter suppression agenda in Arizona, violating the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that cements the denial of racial voter profiling.
On the one hand, the landmark ruling overruled the decision of the lower court; on the other, it gave Republicans a green signal to promote Jim Crow laws in the United States.
Republicans were already acting in full swing to disenfranchise voters of color in different states in their bid to capture the legislative and the executive branch back soon.
How has the US Supreme Court set a dangerous precedent for voter suppression, and how will it encourage states’ Republicans to further escalate their efforts? Let’s see.
Conservative US Supreme Court Promoting Voter Suppression in Arizona: The Last Thing Democrats Could Wish for
The Trump-manned Supreme Court has finally started yielding results in his favor. All six conservative justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, voted in favor of voter suppression this time.
Arizona is the epicenter of the judges’ focus, who nodded to Republicans’ decisions to suppress voices in Arizona in two ways.
First, Arizona Republicans had criminalized the “ballot harvesting” process except for caregivers and family members.
Most often, community activists and voting rights advocates collect ballots from their respective areas to drop them at vote collection sites.
This provides voters with the freedom to vote from their homes without going to polling stations.
This practice promises to increase voters’ turnout at an unprecedented scale.
However, Arizona Republicans have criminalized this procedure, and the conservative Supreme Court endorsed it.
Similarly, Arizona Republicans have discarded the provision that allows voters to drop the mail-in ballots to the precinct of their choice.
Now voters can only drop the ballots at their assigned precincts. Most of the time, the assigned precincts are not the closest ones to the voters’ residents.
So both of these measures combined would set an unprecedented tone of voter suppression in Arizona, a state which Republicans were sure of winning in 2020 but lost by a margin of little more than 10,000 votes.
Now voters can neither participate in ballot harvesting nor can they drop their ballots at favorable locations.
So, many voters could prefer staying home rather than taking part in the tiresome process, hence promoting lower turnout.
Mail-in Balloting: The Primary Target of Republicans
It is pertinent to note here that both of the provisions are related to mail-in-voting, and former President Donald Trump was in great denial of early voting.
These ambitions of the former president are encouraging state Republicans to curb mail-in voting wherever possible to win Trump’s endorsement in the upcoming elections.
Pursuing the legal options was the only option for Democrats in these tough times. However, the Supreme Court has made an explicit statement that no Republican effort against the Voting Rights Act would be blocked in any case.
This could be a part of Republicans’ broader framework, where they can orchestrate redistricting due to their authority in the majority of the states, side by side.
All of this combined is an all-inclusive recipe for winning the 2022 midterm and the 2024 presidential races.
Republicans are focusing their energies where they were close to victory in the 2020 presidential elections but had a narrow miss due to the higher voter turnouts.
For instance, Biden won Arizona with a mere margin of 0.3% of votes, becoming the second Democrat to carry the state since 1948.
Now the Supreme Court decision will act as a catalyst for Republicans, who can launch the last assault on the emerging Democrats in various states, ultimately clinching the important seats in the upcoming elections.
One thing which Biden could do is to pursue his efforts of expanding the Supreme Court, for which he has already created a commission to man the highest benches with more rather liberal judges.
As his efforts to centralize the voting efforts through HR 1 legislation remains a pipe dream, mostly due to the prevailing filibuster and partisan politics, walking down the road of Supreme Court expansion may become his only choice.