Matt Towery

In the case of the Voting Rights Act, if the Democrats controlled both the House and Senate with President Obama in office, there would still have been ruffled feathers from the ruling. But immediate congressional action would have placed the same states, and perhaps a few others, under the additional microscope of the Justice Department, basically restoring the law as it stood. But because Republicans hold the House and have enough votes in the Senate to tie things up, current political power upsets those opposed to the decision.

Ironically, those opponents may find their silver lining politically. They may well use this issue as one to increase minority voting participation across the nation in off-presidential year elections, which could be helpful to Democratic contenders.

As to same-sex marriage, again politics drives much of the reaction. Because some states have a view that such civil unions or marriage should be recognized, those opposed realize that they are unlikely to overturn such laws in those locations. The best they can do is fight their passage elsewhere.

Again to those upset with the two decisions related to same-sex marriage, there may be a political silver lining, particularly in states where opinion weighs more heavily against such unions. It would not be unexpected to find this becoming a litmus test in the more conservative-leaning states, and it could have an impact in states where Democrats otherwise would have a fighting chance against Republicans.

In the end, the ethical and religious arguments will come as they will, and from eloquent and passionate voices on all sides.

But the silver lining from these rulings is that a voice in opposition of the Voting Rights Act decision yet in favor of the other court rulings must then defend their individual state's new constitutional right to adopt and enforce same-sex marriage. And those most adamantly opposed to the court's decisions as to same-sex marriage in states that allow for such but who support the voting rights decision must also find an argument against the rights of those particular states to adopt same-sex unions as law.

Of course most will find ways to draw a distinction, but with the concept of some new respect for the states as part of the debate.


Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a former National Republican legislator of the year and author of Powerchicks: How Women Will Dominate America.
 
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