Justice Scalia, race and the Voting Rights Act

  • Article by: Linda P. Campbell , Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • Updated: March 3, 2013 - 5:05 PM

Justice Antonin Scalia calls a key component of the Voting Rights Act at the heart of fierce legal and political skirmishing a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”

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hobie2Mar. 3, 13 5:40 PM

First, how did they miss Florida in the original act? Some of the things that have gone on in the last couple elections smell - e.g., the Republican election board moving voting machines from predominantly black precincts to suburban precincts and clearly having 2-3 and more times the machines per 1000 voters in the suburbs than in the black precincts and then having the voters in the shorted precincts have to stand in line up to 8 hours to vote for it... Second, If the VRA wasn't there, the latest gerrymandering in Texas that totally blocked the Latino representation would have not been stopped... Third - How's this one work? --- "Racial entitlement" - being entitled to equal representation that is not skewed by historical racial biases... Entitlement, indeed.

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supervon2Mar. 3, 13 6:13 PM

The only reason they keep it on the books is so they can use it against the opponents and score points. As far as useful the time has long gone. Like busing. How long do you keep that up?

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goferfanzMar. 3, 13 6:26 PM

Has Scalia voted on this case, already? I thought they just had arguments. Shouldnt one wait for a decision first, or is that passe in modern America with its modern families?

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my4centsMar. 3, 13 7:21 PM

It is NOT a case of judicial activism when a justice questions the constitutionality of a law that does not treat everyone equally. This is exactly what has been done when laws and legislators treat people differently based on race or gender. Treating them differently based on where they live should be just as offensive and appears ripe for a ruling against this practice.

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orpheus90Mar. 3, 13 7:54 PM

Supervon writes: The only reason they keep it on the books is so they can use it against the opponents and score points ... Use it against opponents? You mean opponents of Voting Rights?

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orpheus90Mar. 3, 13 8:04 PM

Hearing court arguments on the VRA, Scalia claimed to be concerned with the "perpetuation of racial entitlements," phrase-making cooked up in a right wing think tank if I ever heard it. Seems the conservatives' real intent in overturning the VRA has more to do with the perpetuation of "racist entitlement." The right wing in the US is steadily losing demographic support and with it, power; things are changing. But after the Citizens United Decision, and now this current attack on the Voting Rights Act, it's clear conservatives on the court, in this grotesque act of political crony - activism, think they can hold change at bay by racketeering the US voting system.

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cstoney48Mar. 3, 13 8:33 PM

my4cents said: "Treating them differently..." How much of American History did you miss?

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elmore1Mar. 3, 13 9:13 PM

We need to modernize our archaic voting laws and processes top to bottom. The "voter suppression conspiracy" rhetoric is baloney...

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pumiceMar. 3, 1311:15 PM

John Roberts at 27 led the Reagan team charged with defeating the 1982 renewal of the Voting Rights Act. Reagan's argument was that it was time to end punishment of the South. Roberts added that discriminatory voting rules should be barred only when the discrimination could be shown to be intentional. However, Roberts also argued in 1982 that elected officials and not judges should decide the rules by which a jurisdiction deserved to bail out of coverage under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Which John Roberts will prevail in the Shelby County case--the Reagan ideologue, the judicial activist, or the modest, humble and impartial umpire?

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windigolakeMar. 4, 13 6:01 AM

my4cents: "It is NOT a case of judicial activism when a justice questions the constitutionality of a law that does not treat everyone equally." You miss the point of the law. It is an attempt to treat everyone equally .... every voter! The complaint that those with a history of voter suppression are not being treated "equally" is a red herring. The VRA is not an attempt to treat states equally, just to provide that every American over the age of 18 has an equal opportunity to vote. Why is the far right against THAT?

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