Justice Scalia provided the most jarring comment throughout the lengthened argument. Belittling the government argument that the reenacted law was passed by a unanimous vote in the Senate, Scalia set off in a lengthy counter-argument, saying that made no difference because members of Congress would not take the political risk of undoing what he called “racial entitlements.” (Outside the Court, the reaction from civil rights organizations was swift, and heartily condemning, as they defended a law that everyone acknowledges is a great monument in the civil rights struggle.)
Scalia’s comment, aside from its harshness, was obviously made to add emphasis to his argument that, while the law might well have been entirely justified at one time, it was no longer.
— Lyle Denniston, SCOTUSblog, reporting on
the oral argument today at the Supreme Court in a case challenging the continued constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
My, my. So Justice Scalia doesn’t like racial entitlements–such as the one conferring the right of members of certain races to vote, and to have their vote count as much as the votes of people of other races who have racial entitlements. What a surprise.
Hmm. And to think that I had thought that the right to vote was a constitutional entitlement, not a racial one. Good thing I’m not a supreme court justice.