Looks like Scalia really stepped in it this time, but let's step back and examine what he said without a lot of emotion. Traditionally, Supreme Court justices have sometimes asked outrageous questions in the course of their questioning. Sometimes they play Devil's advocates. And, in order to decide cases, questions like these must sometimes be asked, in order to cover all aspects of a case, even if some of those aspects are ridiculous on their faces.Civil rights leaders are up in arms over Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's skeptical questions about a key portion of the Voting Rights Act, a cornerstone of the civil rights movement that brought an end to Jim Crow-era racial discrimination at the polls in the South.
In oral arguments over the law on Wednesday, Scalia, a stalwart of the court's conservative wing, suggested that the Voting Rights Act was overwhelmingly reauthorized in 2006 by Congress because the nation's politicians were afraid to oppose a "racial entitlement."
Scalia said that each time the Voting Rights Act has been reauthorized in the past 50 years, more and more senators supported it, even though the problem of racial discrimination at the polls has decreased over that time. "Now, I don't think that's attributable to the fact that it is so much clearer now that we need this," he said. "I think it is attributable, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement. It's been written about. Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes."
So what do you think Scalia had in mind when he asked those questions? I believe he was addressing a very political aspect of Title V, that many people actually believe, and it could be that he is putting the issue to rest, rather than intending to create an incinidary situation.
What do YOU think?
Article is here.