Saturday, March 2, 2013


Don't be fooled by the smile and benign expression on his face.
Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes. I don’t think there is anything to be gained by any Senator to vote against continuation of this act. And I am fairly confident it will be reenacted in perpetuity unless — unless a court can say it does not comport with the Constitution. You have to show, when you are treating different States differently, that there’s a good reason for it.
That’s the — that’s the concern that those of us who — who have some questions about this statute have. It’s — it’s a concern that this is not the kind of a question you can leave to Congress. There are certain districts in the House that are black districts by law just about now. And even the Virginia Senators, they have no interest in voting against this. The State government is not their government, and they are going to lose — they are going to lose votes if they do not reenact the Voting Rights Act.
Above is Justice Antonin Scalia's response to arguments in a case before the Supreme Court brought by Shelby County, Alabama, to dilute the Voting Rights Acts.  How is the right to vote an entitlement?  There's a history here that Scalia seems to have forgotten.  Perhaps consideration might be given to strengthening the Voting Rights Act to include the entire country, as we heard many stories of attempts at voter suppression in areas outside the South during the recent election.  Reducing the number of days for early voting, which results in long lines, 6 to 8 hours in some precincts, amounts to voter suppression.

Despite the low esteem with which Congress is regarded today, and despite Scalia's words to the contrary, it's still the duty of the legislative branch to pass laws in the country.

Anyway, I'll let Rachel Maddow on the Jon Stewart show have the last word on Scalia.

UPDATE: See Tom Toles' cartoon.


Marthe said...

The "racial entitlement" adopted that is soooooo hard to give up is the white European entitlement brought to America and inflicted upon pretty much everyone else for-freaking-ever ... it is not an "adopted" or legislated privilege, it is the way life has been in this country and many white males resent any incursion into their comfortable, subtle advantages over everyone else. The law just makes things a bit fairer for everyone not, as the dating ads call it, SWM citizens. This is the best argument I've ever heard for limiting the term of justices and/or a President being able to fire one every so often.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Scalia's "concern" is that non-white citizens might have an equal chance to vote, and they'll elect presidents who refrain from appointing justices like him, who are a blight on the highest court in the land.

Russ Manley said...

Scalia is a king-size, Class-A CREEP - and other things I will forbear to say on your blog, Mimi. He is utterly unworthy of his seat on the high court, and unfit to be justice of the peace in Dogpatch.

Giving presidents the power to fire justices is a very bad idea, but I could support a mandatory retirement age of around 70 or so.

Grandmère Mimi said...

A mandatory retirement age, 70 maybe even 75, would be a good thing. Scalia has already retired as a justice and is now the court clown, but he's a clown whose antics affect the lives of real people for the worse.

Marthe said...

Well, yes, the firing thing is a bad idea, agreed ... a bit of fury about it leaking out in an irrational moment ... perhaps accumulated listening to the raging idiocy passing for both "government" and "justice" in the news these days ... and in Michigan they think it's okay to moot democracy by installing "emergency managers" to act as dictators over mostly communities of color in financial trouble ... the "utterly unworthy" seem to be in charge and no solution seems at hand. But, I do think term limits might help.

Grandmère Mimi said...

I despise what Scalia has made of his appointment to the court. Apparently, he has no shame.

Bonnie said...

Yes, you have to wonder if we are reading the same Constitution and if "with liberty and justice for all" mean anything whatsoever to him.

Rachel Maddow--always a breath of fresh air.