* This is big: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a conservative challenge to the core of the Voting Rights Act. Adam Serwer on how recent voter suppression shenanigans remind us the law is anything but obsolete.
* David Maraniss on what a disaster it would have been if the first African American president had been booted from office, and on Obama’s own reluctance to define his presidency in racial terms.
* Essential point from Jonathan Bernstein: If filibuster reform is going to be real, it must put an end to the 60-vote Senate. Full stop. We need to get this one right.
* Must read from Ron Brownstein, who cornered the demographics market, on the ways the 2012 election signaled that the “Next America” is here to stay.
* But Jonathan Capehart is right: Let’s not lose sight of the fact that a lot of white guys voted for Obama, too. Sure, Obama had low white support, but the full spectrum of that support is the story here.
* Ed Kilgore blows apart the myth of the “practical” and “reform-minded” GOP governor, and notes that some of them are every bit the ideologues as their Tea Party counterparts in the House.
* Buzzfeed dives into just how far reaching the Obama camp’s voter turnout technology had grown by the end. What I want to know: Whether this turnout wizardry is what offset all the Super PAC cash.
* David Firestone notes that Romneyworld’s absolute conviction that he’d win is symptomatic of a larger problem: The closed conservative information feedback loop. I’d add it actually makes governing harder.
* Stephanie McCrummen takes note of Elizabeth Warren’s unique blend of technocratic populism and star power, which she now has to translate into actual legislative activity in the Senate.
* Benjy Sarlin gives needed props to Ruy Teixeira, who prophesied the “emerging Democratic majority” in 2002, got mocked in 2004, but has been vindicated by the demographics that drove the 2012 outcome.
* An apt sign of the times: Prosecutors in Washington State drop dozens of marijuana possession cases in the wake of the state’s passage of pot legalization.
* And I can’t help but note with a bit of sadness that this is the first Friday in a very long time that there is no weekly installment of Steve Benen’s “Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity.” The 41st and last version is here.
We all owe my friend Steve our thanks. That must have been exhausting work indeed, and it’s good news (not just for him, but for all of us) that there’s no need for it to continue any longer.