I still remain generally hopeful, over the medium term, certainly the long term that the changing nature of the electorate will prove too strong to be bridled by Republican voter suppression efforts which will undoubtedly redouble in response to this wildly activist ruling by the Supreme Court. In the short term, it’s not so clear, though, particularly with regards to 2014. Indeed, the 2012 election and this decision fit together like two pieces of a puzzle.
Republican state governments pushed through numerous laws to thin the electorate and particularly to reduce minority voting. It wasn’t totally successful because of a mix of energized minority voters who turned out in droves in response to these attacks and also because a small band of civil rights and voting rights attorneys who fought the laws across the country, making ample use of the Voting Rights Act.
Coming out of the 2012 defeat, the GOP made brief noises about reforming the party to increase its appeal to non-whites. But as we’ve seen over the past six months, the will to do that has diminished rapidly. And the House GOP now appears poised to solidify and confirm its status as the party of white people by preventing a vote on and thus killing immigration reform.
This decision means it’s back to open season on minority voting. And as the Republican party signals a strategic aim of doubling down on maximizing the white vote (see the debate on immigration reform), the imperative to reduce the minority vote as much as possible only grows greater.