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The future of voting rights in America is on the line. “It’s no exaggeration to say that future Americans could view the resolution of this struggle as a turning point in the history of U.S. democracy,” my colleague Ronald Brownstein explains.
Three things are happening at once: At the state level, Republicans are pushing a fresh batch of voter-suppression laws. And in Congress, Democrats are countering with national legislation to protect access to the ballot. The House votes on the first of two big bills tonight. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is considering a major voting-rights case.
Federal legislation may be Democrats’ only chance to stop the assault by the GOP. The party “may have only a brief window” to use their “unified control of Washington to establish national election standards,” Ronald writes.
At the Supreme Court, the Voting Rights Act is hanging by a thread. The Court could further weaken the legislation’s protections. “With a gutted VRA, we will have a country where the forces of disenfranchisement are nearly unstoppable,” our senior editor Vann R. Newkirk II warns in our March issue.
Structural barriers Republicans can use to cling to power could make the coming years dangerous. “These same flammable ingredients were present in the 1850s, when a rising majority found it impossible to impose its agenda because of all the structural obstacles laid down by the retreating minority,” Ronald argued on the eve of the 2020 election.
What to read if … you’re still processing the first big awards show of the year, the Golden Globes:
After being boxed out from the best-picture competitions, the critically acclaimed Minari won for best foreign-language film, but its performances went overlooked.
“As more creators of color break through and tell different kinds of stories, Hollywood’s snubbing of Asian actors is becoming especially obvious and newly urgent,” Shirley Li writes.
One question, answered: A reader named Nancy writes in from Ohio:
My son, whom I’ll refer to as “Sean,” is heading off to college next fall (if, God willing, colleges are open), and I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t think he knows how to organize his work or complete assignments on his own.
Abby Freireich and Brian Platzer respond in our latest “Homeroom” column:
In this moment of transition, we agree that now is the time for Sean to gain academic independence. The key is to replace your pushing and prodding with a system of routines and checklists that Sean can use to stay on top of his work.
Tonight’s Atlantic-approved isolation activity:
In his eighth and latest novel, Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro “drapes realism like a thin cloth over a primordial cosmos.”
Today’s break from the news: