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.