Republicans rule the United States

The Republicans attack the Democrats from their power base in the constituent states

The Democrats rule Washington, but the Republicans have more influence in the states and in the courts. This can make them dangerous to the other party.

That happened: In the elections last November, the Democrats captured the White House and secured a majority in both houses of Congress (in the case of the Senate there is a 50:50 tie, but Vice-President Kamala Harris will chair that chamber in the event of a stalemate the casting vote, which in practice leads to a narrow democratic majority).

At first glance, it looks like power in American politics is about to shift to the side of the Democrats. And it appears that in November voters turned all the power centers of federal politics in Washington into the hands of the Democrats to end the deadlock resulting from the political polarization between Democrats and Republicans.

But first impressions don't hold up against the facts, for two reasons. First, the passage of most business deals in the Senate requires a majority of 60 votes. For example, 60 out of 100 senators have to approve the ending of debates. If President Biden wants to get a bill through, he often needs the support of 10 Republican senators, provided that the Democrats unanimously vote for it.

And second, while the Democrats dominate politics in Washington, the Republicans have created their own centers of power in the constituent states and in the most influential courts. 27 of the 50 governors in the states are Republicans, and 30 of the 50 parliaments are Republican dominated. The majority of judges in the Supreme Court and federal appeals courts have been nominated by Republican presidents and are considered Conservative. President Trump has been particularly active in filling numerous vacant positions with Conservative judges. Republican-appointed judges also have a majority in the state supreme courts.

It's all about this: The United States has a federal political system. It is true that the federal government in Washington has extensive powers. The most important is probably the default of economic policy. At the same time, however, important competencies are also located at the level of the member states, which gives the Republicans - together with their influence via the courts - great influence. These include, for example, the legal regulation of elections, the reallocation of districts for election to the House of Representatives, health policy and the regulation of numerous social issues.

This is what we mean: Two examples since President Biden took office illustrate how the Republicans, based on their regional hegemony, are trying to assert themselves against the Democrats in some areas. Last Friday (March 26), Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a new electoral law that significantly restricts access to the polls. Republicans loyal to Trump claim that increasing access to the ballot box has led to widespread electoral fraud. In order to prevent this in the future, this expansion must be reversed.

Appropriate efforts in Georgia are just the beginning. Republicans are trying to push through comparable changes to electoral laws in a total of 43 states. The Democrats are appalled by this and fear that it will have a lasting negative effect on their electoral chances in the “swing states” and in the politically divided electoral districts. President Biden called Georgia electoral law reform un-American and outrageous.

A second example of Conservative Republicans trying to make their mark on the nation is regulating abortion - a key item on the Conservative agenda. In the USA, since the decision of the Supreme Court in 1973 (Roe v. Wade), a liberal time limit solution has essentially been in place. On March 9, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a law that almost completely bans abortion, even in the case of rape or incest. The only exception is when it comes to saving the mother's life in a medical emergency.

Recently, a dozen other states have passed similar tightening of abortion, although most of them don't go as far as in Arkansas and all laws are still blocked in the courts. The chances that the Arkansas law will be accepted in this form by the Supreme Court are currently slim. But with their tactics, the conservative Republicans hope to put general pressure on liberal abortion regulations across the country.