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Thread: Civil rights leaders outraged over Scalia’s ‘racial entitlement’ argument

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    Civil rights leaders outraged over Scalia’s ‘racial entitlement’ argument

    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."
    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.

    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.
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    Re: Civil rights leaders outraged over Scalia’s ‘racial entitlement’ argument

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    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.

    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.
    Umm, the racial entitlement claim wasn't a question

    And his statement reveals a profound lack of understanding of how our govt works and his own belief in "limited gubmint".

    It's not the job of the judicial branch to do the legislatives' heavy lifting. A future court could use that logic to say that since tax cuts are "very difficult to get them out through the normal political process", the court should invalidate any tax cut.
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    Re: Civil rights leaders outraged over Scalia’s ‘racial entitlement’ argument

    1) I don't care what Civil Rights Leaders get their panties in a wad about. and
    2) I think he is again signaling that the law is dated. I am still expecting them to strike down the formulas and to whom they apply to force it back to the Congress. There are places that have no history of violations since the thing was passed and then there are places where the law does not even apply that have a demonstrable modern pattern of problems.

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    Re: Civil rights leaders outraged over Scalia’s ‘racial entitlement’ argument

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    Umm, the racial entitlement claim wasn't a question

    And his statement reveals a profound lack of understanding of how our govt works and his own belief in "limited gubmint".

    It's not the job of the judicial branch to do the legislatives' heavy lifting. A future court could use that logic to say that since tax cuts are "very difficult to get them out through the normal political process", the court should invalidate any tax cut.
    Considering the fact the reauthorization of the voting rights act passed in 2006 with overwhelming support, the fact we are disscussing striking it down is pure lunacy.

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    Re: Civil rights leaders outraged over Scalia’s ‘racial entitlement’ argument

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    1) I don't care what Civil Rights Leaders get their panties in a wad about. and
    2) I think he is again signaling that the law is dated. I am still expecting them to strike down the formulas and to whom they apply to force it back to the Congress. There are places that have no history of violations since the thing was passed and then there are places where the law does not even apply that have a demonstrable modern pattern of problems.
    All the efforts at curbing early voting and implementing voter I.d laws says otherwise. Racism still exists in our politics, which was what the voting rights act was meant to stop.

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    Re: Civil rights leaders outraged over Scalia’s ‘racial entitlement’ argument

    Quote Originally Posted by Unitedwestand13 View Post
    All the efforts at curbing early voting and implementing voter I.d laws says otherwise. Racism still exists in our politics, which was what the voting rights act was meant to stop.
    Your comment makes it apparent that you do not understand how the law works. It currently does not apply everywhere. There are places where there have been no found violations of the law where the law does apply and there have been places that had what would have been violations had the law applied to them but it does not. The issue is not really whether there should be a law but to whom it applies. There are reportedly several places in the north where there are troubling things going on but the law does not apply to them so they get away with it because they do not have to have preclearance. I believe Harrisburg PA is one of the cities I have heard mentioned as being particularly offensive to minorities but since they were not covered in the original act, they can do whatever they want under the VRA.

    VRA.jpg

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    Re: Civil rights leaders outraged over Scalia’s ‘racial entitlement’ argument

    He's merely noting what has been discussed and noted as a condition in politics well, forever. Once politicians establish a program it takes an act of God for them to end it. The people become accustomed to the program, whatever it is, and expect it to last forever, even when the need that initially sparked the creation of the program has long passed.

    Want a great example - look into the REA (Rural Electrification Administration).

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    Re: Civil rights leaders outraged over Scalia’s ‘racial entitlement’ argument

    The voting rights act is flawed on many levels, although good in its overall intent. The idea is that since many "tricks" were employed to skirt the allowing of all citizens to vote in "some states" that those states must have any "law" changes affecting voting precleared by federal authorities.

    1) That violates the 14th amendment for equal protection of the law, since an identical (voter ID) law is permitted in a "good" state yet denied in a "bad" state.

    2) It strips these state's legislatures of their right to draw congressional districts, while allowing that very thing in other states; either all district boundaries must pass these "tests" or none should.

    3) It assumes that race and ethnicity defines voting patterns - while statistically that may be valid, it certainly makes demorat/republicant outcomes a federal matter and not a state matter - violating the 10th amendment.

    4) Using race and ethnicity for "good" purposes is not more legal than using those same factors for "bad" purposes.

    5) Intentionally creating concentrated "majority minority" districts using racial/ethnic factors, is EQUALLY DISCRIMINATORY as intentionally diluting that "minority vote" by drawing crazy looking district boundaries. Look at some of the "approved" district shapes created under this loony law - they virtually guarantee demorat congressional seats in very red states. Many of these states have republicant senators and governors yet many demorat House congress critters, by creating these mandatory majority minority districts.

    In North Texas, the map includes District 33, a new congressional district drawn with the intent of connecting minority communities in Tarrant and Dallas Counties. The district will be 66 percent Hispanic and 17 percent African-American.
    Court-drawn congressional map released for 2012 [Updated] - PoliTex

    U.S. district judges Beryl Howell and Rosemary Collyer and Circuit Judge Thomas Griffith ruled in November that Texas used an “improper standard or methodology” when determining whether minorities had the ability to elect their preferred candidates.
    Texas Voter District Maps Rejected by U.S. Judges - Businessweek
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: Civil rights leaders outraged over Scalia’s ‘racial entitlement’ argument

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    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.

    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.
    I don't know that he was intending to be incendiary. I think he was just stating what's on his mind. Unfortunately, what was on his mind turned out to be ignorant and seems to embody a very common misunderstanding with conservatism about arguments put forth in favor of things like the Voting Rights Act, Affirmative Action and other anti-discrimination laws and policies. In my experience, conservatives tend to see these things as unnecessary because they do not believe that a level of discrimination that would warrant such policies exists in the modern day.

    Because of this disbelief, they assume that those who advocate such policies are doing so for reasons other than genuinely trying combat discrimination. Because of that assumption, they assume that those who advocate for those policies on the basis of fighting discrimination are being disingenuous. Because they believe they are being disingenuous, they look for other possible motivations. The motivations these conservative nonbelievers ascribe to their "opponents" tend to be "race baiting," "playing the race card" and, in Scalia's case, "perpetuation of racial entitlement."

    In short, Scalia doesn't see a level of discrimination that would warrant the support the VRA has gotten over the years. Therefore, he assumes everybody who supports it just thinks non-whites are entitled to special treatment rather than genuinely trying to fight discrimination. Since I don't believe for a second that this is case with most people who support the VRA, I think Scalia isn't qualified to make this decision. This is just one more reason why I voted for Barack Obama - conservative judges tend to be disconnected from reality.

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    Re: Civil rights leaders outraged over Scalia’s ‘racial entitlement’ argument

    What I think is what I usually (but not always) think when I hear or read Scalia: he's brilliant and we need more like him.

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