On Tuesday, the Republican minority in the Senate unanimously used its filibuster power to block vital voting rights legislation, even as voter suppression proposals by Republican state legislatures sprout up across the country.
A central argument from the Republicans was that a federal body passing legislation on states' election procedures was a federal overstep.
This argument was parroted by moderate Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine in a Senate floor speech.
Maine's Senators react to the elections bill voteyoutu.be
"[The bill] would take away the rights of people in each of the 50 states to determine which election rules work best for their citizens."
What Collins and her other Republican colleagues ignored is that some of the most treasured voting rights laws were federal decisions, including the 14th Amendment, the 15th Amendment, and the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Her argument would call these long-accepted and consequential decisions into question, and its logical conclusion would be that any federal oversight into states' election procedures is out of bounds, even if individual states are deliberately undermining access to the ballot box for political gain.
People soon began pointing out the holes in her argument.
They also noted the historical purposes of the "states' rights" argument.
In 2006, Collins voted to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act.