Justice Scalia speaks truth about the politics of the Voting Rights Act; Liberals freak out

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is under assault for comments he made in Court today. The case in question, Shelby County v. Holder, deals with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Under Section 5, local cities or counties with a history of racial discrimination in voting are not allowed to make changes in their voting rules without first obtaining the approval of the Department of Justice or a special court in Washington, D.C.

According to Hans von Spakovsky, a Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, when Congress first passed the Voting Rights Act, it made it clear that it considered Section 5 a temporary, emergency provision that would terminate after five years. Yet the provision has been renewed repeatedly and remains in effect today.

At National Review’s Bench Memos, Carrie Severino explains the administrative burden this places on local jurisdictions that are covered by Section 5:

It requires that those states and jurisdictions surmount significant administrative or judicial hurdles any time they want to make a change to their voting laws, no matter how trivial. For example, if a town wants to move its polling place even a block away, change from paper to computerized ballots, change its primary date, or hire more staff to help those who need translation or assistance reading, it would need to apply for permission from the Attorney General.

Severino notes, further, that the Court has hinted that Section 5 does not pass constitutional muster:

The Supreme Court has dropped hints over the years that this system raises constitutional red flags, and as recently as 2009 clearly stated that Section 5 “imposes current burdens and must be justified by current needs” if it wants to take the disfavored step of treating certain states differently than others.

Now let’s go to the transcript of Scalia’s remarks earlier today (see pp. 46-48):

Well, maybe it was making that judgment, Mr. Verrilli. But that’s — that’s a problem that I have. This Court doesn’t like to get involved in racial questions such as this one. It’s something that can be left — left to Congress. The problem here, however, is suggested by the comment I made earlier, that the initial enactment of this legislation in a time when the need for it was so much more abundantly clear was — in the Senate, there — it was double-digits against it. And that was only a 5-year term. Then, it is reenacted 5 years later, again for a 5-year term. Double-digits against it in the Senate. Then it was reenacted for 7 years. Single digits against it. Then enacted for 25 years, 8 Senate votes against it. And this last enactment, not a single vote in the Senate against it. And the House is pretty much the same.

Now, I don’t think that’s attributable to the fact that it is so much clearer now that we need this. 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. 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 the concern that those of us who have some questions about this statute have. 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.

Even the name of it is wonderful: The Voting Rights Act. Who is going to vote against that in the future?

In referring to “racial entitltements,” Scalia was not calling into question the right of black Americans to vote. He was discussing the reasons why Congress had not repealed or modified Section 5 despite the Court’s explicit misgivings. His conclusion: Trying to repeal Section 5 would be tantamount to political suicide.

This is not a constitutional argument. It is an observation about what would happen to a member of Congress who proposes repealing Section 5 (or for that matter, any part of the Voting Rights Act).

In response, liberals went into full-blown freak-out mode:

https://twitter.com/Tsinuk/status/306929215230595072

Scalia’s assessment of the political situation is correct, of course, and the vituperative response to his comments proves it.

On the other hand, as we noted above, Scalia’s argument is really about the politics of the Voting Rights Act, not its constitutionality.  If members of Congress are too cowardly to repeal Section 5, that does not seem to us to be a valid reason for Courts to overturn the law.

  • https://twitter.com/tweetyuo Tangchung

    Scalia simply saying cowards in congress won’t remove the DOJ out of the voting rights act equation. State rights be damned.

    • SpinMeNot

      Voting is just another entitlement. Soon, only people that don’t pay taxes will be allowed to vote.

  • ERMERGERD

    Somebody with an FDR avatar complaining about racism… Funny.

    • descolada9

      Considering what racists FDR and Woodrow Wilson were, yet the Left expects us to praise them. Disgusting.

      • 1CatEye

        Yes, just like leaving Robert Byrd D-KKK in the Senate. But Republicans are the racists! LOL. LIV.

        • Guest

          Don’t forget Strom Thurmond.

          • descolada9

            Strom changed ideology and sides to the good.

      • 1CatEye

        Yes, just like leaving Robert Byrd D-KKK in the Senate. But Republicans are the racists! LOL. LIV.

    • http://twitter.com/LDommel Linda Dommel

      Some COMMIE replied 2 tweet had picture of Clinton Eastwood. Probably a girly man to boot!

    • http://twitter.com/LDommel Linda Dommel

      Some COMMIE replied 2 tweet had picture of Clinton Eastwood. Probably a girly man to boot!

  • sigh

    Liberals are incapable of complex thought. Anything harder than “yellow and blue make green”, forget about it.

    • http://twitter.com/GlockG22Shooter PetrockShootsaGlock

      YELLOW AND BLUE MAKE GREEN!!!!? My head just exploded… if I were a liberal that is…

      • 1CatEye

        You dang racist! Everyone KNOWS that makes pink! Or, oh, something . . ..

      • 1CatEye

        You dang racist! Everyone KNOWS that makes pink! Or, oh, something . . ..

    • camnpat

      If you had listened to Beck’s More-On-Trivia a few weeks ago, you would have seen that some of them couldn’t even answer that one correctly.

    • Karl Winrich

      I once heard it described as the modern liberals have trained themselves to think in a completely ‘nondiscriminatory’ manor. Unfortunately in order to form rational thought one must be able to discriminate the value/morality/integrity (or whatever) between 1 or more different sets of conditions. And since rational thought is a key attribute to intelligence it simply goes without saying that they are idiots, and they did it to themselves.

      • AMSilver

        Evan Sayet gave an awesome talk about that for the Heritage Foundation. He went into detail on how liberals think and their lack of the ability to discriminate, and the consequences of not discriminating. Long talk, but very insightful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaE98w1KZ-c

    • Ronald

      That’s untrue. I have liberal friends who are extremely insightful and capable thinkers. I disagree with much of their thinking, but I don’t disparage their intelligence.

  • grais

    Why was what Scalia said so hard for them to understand? Are they really so stupid that they think he’s against voting rights?!? Are they just programmed to react with hysterics and ignorance? They really want a man to drop dead, just because they don’t understand the simple statements of truth that he made??
    This is so disheartening.

    • TheAmishDude

      They don’t care what he said. He’s not on their side.

      Democracy, fairness, law — these things mean nothing to these people. They want an enlightened despot.

      • E Quilibrate

        Isn’t “enlightened despot” an oxymoron? Or maybe just
        your everyday garden variety moron.

      • E Quilibrate

        Isn’t “enlightened despot” an oxymoron? Or maybe just
        your everyday garden variety moron.

    • http://twitter.com/conservag Aaron

      Because not a single person feigning outrage over this bothered to find out what he actually said.

      Facebook is being flooded with images like this, which is all progs need to get all foamy at the mouth:

      https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/644742_510267325681832_1259786181_n.jpg

      • SpinMeNot

        Finding it is not the problem. Understanding it is the problem. They don’t care … they don’t need to understand. They are mindless drones, immune to facts, logic, or responsibility.

      • SpinMeNot

        Finding it is not the problem. Understanding it is the problem. They don’t care … they don’t need to understand. They are mindless drones, immune to facts, logic, or responsibility.

    • http://twitter.com/jimni27 Jimni27

      They only read titles not what’s IN them, silly!

    • Catchance

      They don’t get it. Someone told them that Justice Scalia said they shouldn’t have voting rights, so that’s what they believe. It’s pretty much the same as the meltdown they had over Chick Fil-A. Facts have never been their strong suit.

    • camnpat

      When they just read the headlines or hear the sound bites of hosts like Matthews who pick the part that will sound bad and then comment on the rest twisting it to get their position out there, many people are led like sheep without even knowing it. Of course they are going to ignore reason and logic and resort to emotions to decry any comment.

      • Shawn Smith

        Hilariously (or depressingly), these are the same people who complain that Obama constantly gets taken out of context. When you give the full context, what he says is almost never any better. In this case, it’s clear what he meant is innocuous. These are the same people, however, who are convinced there’s “voter suppression” going on by the Republican party, so that’s evidence of how clearly they think.

        • RogueRose

          They believe that because their leaders tell them it’s true and the lapdog media dutifully feed the hysteria.

        • RogueRose

          They believe that because their leaders tell them it’s true and the lapdog media dutifully feed the hysteria.

        • KayGee

          So assuming that stricter voter ID laws are just “common sense”, and if section 5 were repealed and Alabama gets to enact new voter ID laws that require voters to register with a set of IDs like a drivers license and SS number/Birth Cert, as well as having waiting periods and effective cutoff dates, all this in order to exercise the constitutional right to vote, people would say that’s a good thing. But if you change the word “vote” to “gun” and more or less apply all the same proposed requirements on buying a firearm, all of a sudden it’s a huge infringement upon constitutional rights? I don’t expect anyone here to actually entertain this thought train, but it doesn’t seem too hard to imagine how certain parties would react if the same kind of proposed scrutiny over voting rights was applied to gun rights.

          • Shawn Smith

            Wow, you’re ignorant. In most states, there are already much tighter restrictions on purchasing a gun.

            Second, is there any reason to believe people are engaging in “gun fraud”? People trying to fake papers to get guns? People who want to get a gun outside the system have a black market that is, at the very least, hard to impact. People who want to cheat at voting have a variety of options, but this is one that we can easily do something about.

            What objections do you have to requiring ID to vote? Is it less important to prove who are when you vote than when you open a bank account? Than when you check out a library book? Yes, it’s a right, but if people defraud the system, everyone else’s rights are damaged.

    • Kevin Krom

      “Are they just programmed to react with hysterics and ignorance?”

      Well, yes, actually. That’s pretty much the definition of “low information voter”. Get fed a conclusion, and echo it emphatically without ever critically reviewing it.

      • E Quilibrate

        Couldn’ta said it better myself.

      • E Quilibrate

        Couldn’ta said it better myself.

    • Penmar

      Yes, they are really so stupid.

    • walterc

      The real irony here is that their responses are exactly what Justice Scalia was saying? Even the name of it is wonderful: The Voting Rights Act. Who is going to vote against that in the future?

      • 1CatEye

        They are too stupid to realize their responses prove his point. HAHAHAHA! LIV.

      • 1CatEye

        They are too stupid to realize their responses prove his point. HAHAHAHA! LIV.

    • randy008

      The reason for the uprise against Justice Scalia is because the idiots think he is against blacks voting. The same low information idiots who elected this President. These are people who have no idea what section 5 is about.. We are well passed this law where some states must get permission from the Federal Government to change their procedures for new voting implementations..

      • RogueRose

        99.9% of them probably have no idea that all elections, including presidential elections, are run by individual states, NOT the federal govt. And in order to justify violating the rights of the states, protected by the US Constitution, to run their own elections, there has to be a high level of proof that it’s necessary.. which can’t be done anymore.

        • KayGee

          yes, let’s talk about the importance of states rights. and then suddenly it’s all crickets crickets when the question of states rights is examined under the context of Colorado and Washington’s decision to legalize marijuana.

      • RogueRose

        99.9% of them probably have no idea that all elections, including presidential elections, are run by individual states, NOT the federal govt. And in order to justify violating the rights of the states, protected by the US Constitution, to run their own elections, there has to be a high level of proof that it’s necessary.. which can’t be done anymore.

    • EastValleyConservative

      Someone spoonfed them a couple of lines, that’s all they read (by design) and voila! Instant lefty outrage.

    • 1CatEye

      All of it. Yes. Yes. Yes. Shows you the true character of dims. Either they don’t understand, or they willfully misrepresent.

    • 1CatEye

      All of it. Yes. Yes. Yes. Shows you the true character of dims. Either they don’t understand, or they willfully misrepresent.

    • E Quilibrate

      Also disheartening is that we have only one other justice with
      the hutzpah to articulate such a truth, ironically the other would
      be justice Clarence Thomas.

    • E Quilibrate

      Also disheartening is that we have only one other justice with
      the hutzpah to articulate such a truth, ironically the other would
      be justice Clarence Thomas.

    • http://twitter.com/MoueLaMoue Moue La Moue (D)

      Math is hard. Reading is also, hard, apparently. I shall take this as a sign that the IQ of the country is just going further and further down the drain. It’s another reason also why homeschooling seems to have become so much more desirable over the years.

  • TheAmishDude

    Given race riots that have occurred in other parts of the country (Boston, L.A.) shouldn’t the VRA apply there, too?

    • 1SkepticalChick

      Or Chicago…

  • Della Thorne

    By reading the comments to and about Justice Scalia it is quite evident to me they do not know the Constitution nor do they want to. They show impunity, immaturity, stupidity and I could go on and on…but most of all they lack respect, the same respect they demand conservatives. Disgusting..they are so disgusting to put it mildly

    • camnpat

      You said it Kate.

    • SpinMeNot

      Just wait until you hear the announcement out of the Chicago Public Schools today … you have no idea how disgusting it will get …

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeBeq0i03bg Booker

    I think Scalia is too brilliant for the libs. The opinions just go *swoosh* over their heads.

    • Gary Rudick

      Anything above 5th grade level English is too brilliant for liberals, they want a gov’t provider reader.

  • George Washington Mclintock

    Control, control, control. Ignorance, ignorance, ignorance. Elitism,elitism, elitism. Submission, submission, submission topped off some cognitive dissonance. “Govt can solve all our problems, except the ones that keep us in power and let us control a red state’s electoral process due to the events of 4-7 decades ago. Which isn’t what we’ll be talking about , as we want to natter on about how these hillbillies are after the black vote again! Our fears have come true! Dixieland riseth! Vote Democrat!” THese people are fools. It may take a while, but eventually we will collapse their house of cards. The decision may go either way(Benedict Roberts destroyed my faith in the court) ,though there are encouraging signs it could be struck down. Here;s hoping. Justice Scalia seems full of fire and on top of his game, which is great because we need him in there for a least another couple of years.

    • Dee M.

      I heard a black man commenting on the radio yesterday that “if this is struck down, the Old South WILL rise again.” Are you kidding me? It’s struck down and all of a sudden we’re all time-warped back to 1960? Racism is alive, because they won’t let it die! Lord, deliver me…..

    • Dee M.

      I heard a black man commenting on the radio yesterday that “if this is struck down, the Old South WILL rise again.” Are you kidding me? It’s struck down and all of a sudden we’re all time-warped back to 1960? Racism is alive, because they won’t let it die! Lord, deliver me…..

    • 1CatEye

      Hoping for good health for Alito, Scalia, Kennedy and Thomas. They are our last, best hope. Roberts be damned.

      • SpinMeNot

        At this point in time, you have to wonder if Roberts was Woodwarded.

    • 1CatEye

      Hoping for good health for Alito, Scalia, Kennedy and Thomas. They are our last, best hope. Roberts be damned.

  • Love of Country

    What’s it like to be a needy, colicky baby for an entire lifetime? Heck, I don’t know. What do I look like ….. a liberal?

    http://www.plognark.com/sites/default/files/images/thestupiditburns.jpg

  • Chico Escobar

    If the law is great how come we don’t impose it in all 57 states. =P

    • TexSizzle

      What about the other three?

  • https://twitter.com/Random_acct Random_acct

    Simpletons reacting with simplistic and ignorant, hateful responses to Scalia. Should we be surprised?

    • 1CatEye

      And wishing him dead. Liberal tolerance, LOL!

    • 1CatEye

      And wishing him dead. Liberal tolerance, LOL!

  • xThoughtCriminalx

    The word “racism” is tantamount to the sixteenth century’s word “heretic.” It is meant to drown out/halt any and all rational discussion, be it about the VRA or illegal immigration. And, unfortunately, whites continue to kowtow to this.

    • Bristel

      Borrowing that idea. Posted it on Facebook, hoping that people see the utter insanity of spewing out a word so much until it has no meaning.

  • TocksNedlog

    Proof positive that it will NEVER be in the best interest of liberals to claim that racism has been eliminated or reduced to an almost insignificant level.

    • http://twitter.com/LDommel Linda Dommel

      I’ll say it a little better. Democrats Party is the RACISAT PARTY! Even today democrats instruct the blacks they look down upon, that they are helpless, impotent victim who would starve to death in the streets without bread crumbs from gov’t handouts. Democrats are, always has been, and always shall be the OPPRESSOR & party of racism!

    • http://twitter.com/LDommel Linda Dommel

      I’ll say it a little better. Democrats Party is the RACISAT PARTY! Even today democrats instruct the blacks they look down upon, that they are helpless, impotent victim who would starve to death in the streets without bread crumbs from gov’t handouts. Democrats are, always has been, and always shall be the OPPRESSOR & party of racism!

  • http://twitter.com/LDommel Linda Dommel

    DEMOCRATS continue to believe there should be SUPERIOR treatment under the law, (women,gay,voting,etc.) That’s how 3rd world corrupt countries work! Instead of EQUALLY applied 2 all! For the law 2 hold credibility & efficacy as a blinding agent within society. Laws need enforced equally to all. Otherwise the law is not agent of UNIFYING ORDER!

  • $23089169

    Yawn…liberals crying racism again.

  • $23089169

    Yawn…liberals crying racism again.

  • Maxx

    The year will be 2232…and liberals will still be pimping Blacks as “the downtrodden.”

    “DAMN THOSE RACIST CONS! They won’t let poor Blacks leave the Milky Way…they want the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy all to themselves!”

    It’s a cottage industry for liberals and has been for decades…this ridiculous narrative that during a time when so many conservatives want the NEXT President to be black (Dr. Ben Carson), the majority of Republicans want to prevent them from voting. No Chris Matthews, we just want them to stop voting against their own interests.

    At some point, Blacks are going to wake up en masse and start seeing Democrats for who they truly are….nothing more than political plantation owners.

  • Maxx

    The year will be 2232…and liberals will still be pimping Blacks as “the downtrodden.”

    “DAMN THOSE RACIST CONS! They won’t let poor Blacks leave the Milky Way…they want the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy all to themselves!”

    It’s a cottage industry for liberals and has been for decades…this ridiculous narrative that during a time when so many conservatives want the NEXT President to be black (Dr. Ben Carson), the majority of Republicans want to prevent them from voting. No Chris Matthews, we just want them to stop voting against their own interests.

    At some point, Blacks are going to wake up en masse and start seeing Democrats for who they truly are….nothing more than political plantation owners.

  • Leroy Whitby

    Scalia is the smartest person on the court. He has done the country good. New Jersey, Italians, Federalist Society, conservatives, should be proud of their native son.

  • Leroy Whitby

    Scalia is the smartest person on the court. He has done the country good. New Jersey, Italians, Federalist Society, conservatives, should be proud of their native son.

  • Leroy Whitby

    Just to note. The President is black. It’s 2013.

  • Leroy Whitby

    Just to note. The President is black. It’s 2013.

  • anjullyn

    Seeing the responses to Justice Scalia, it is astounding how these one-celled organisms can breathe on their own.

  • medbob

    I would argue that it IS a Constitutional argument. Perhaps not the letter, but the spirit.
    Equal protection under the law is a concept that is built into the underpinnings of our founding documents. This law is a affront to equal protection under the law.
    What would be your response to mandating that Clerks go to the doors of white people in these districts, to register them because the white vote is underrepresented?
    I can hear the howls now. Any preference based on race is repugnant.

  • Todd Hill

    While it may be wholly impractical and not the ideal solution, perhaps the better option at present would be to have congress alter the law so that Section 5 applies to all states. If you remove selective targeting of the law and force all states to shoulder the same burden (in an equal protection sort of way) perhaps they’ll see the folly in continuing to support that section at all.

  • Matt

    Looks its the Perpetually Outraged Race Hustlers. Gotta make that dolla and calling somebody racist is the only way. Scumbags.

  • Hiraghm

    Valid reason for courts to overturn the law: it violates the Constitution.

    • R0nin

      Yep. And Section 5 seems to do exactly that.

  • http://www.vatican.va/ Rulz

    “He said, “We didn’t march for some ‘racial entitlement.’ “”

    No, that wasn’t in the cards in the cards for Dr. King, but that is what the democrats and left have turned it into.

    “Whoever cooks for SC Justice Scalia: More butter-more red meat-no green vegetables or roughage-anything genetically altered-kill him off”

    Has that ever been confirmed?

    • Bristel

      That guy is a low-information voter, he has no clue about genetically modified foods, or that butter is dangerous. (It’s pretty healthy, in fact, whereas margarine is not). Red meat isn’t really that dangerous either.

  • Karl Winrich

    With how polarized our nation is today, I think the only time we were more divided was during the civil war, if the VRA was repealed then all hell would break loose. In large, black dominated cities, no white would be able to even get into a polling station (I.E. New Black Panthers in Philly) and in the deep south states segregation would practically become the norm again, at least for polling stations. And even then those polling stations would be the poorest equipped, and hardest to get to locations that anybody could even think of. I’m talking like paper ballots and having to be cast in a port-o-potty out in the woods kind of conditions.

  • FreedomCzar

    As usual, Scalia is correct and the left hemorrhages hate!

  • Stephen L. Hall

    So let me understand this: to liberals, the second amendment, articulating an inalienable right of all humanity to protect themselves in perpetuity, is outdated, outmoded and needs repealed, BUT an admittedly temporary measure of limited federal oversight of minor functions of the election process properly outside of federal purview is sacrosanct?

  • Cal

    Yay, Scalia!

  • saywhatsaywhat

    Liberals are more racist than ever. This is just more proof.

  • American Avant Garde

    The wise, erudite, and always humble Justice Scalia makes a very reasonable point and the ignorant reactionaries want to drag him behind a Toyota Prius..

    It’s Orwellian…

  • Mapache

    These are the same people who claim the 3/5th clause about slaves was there to diminish Blacks, no idea it was a poison pill to help end slavery.

  • WVS

    You and I know Scalia never meant anything like “voting is a racial entitlement.” But being honest, I’d expect a man with this much experience and intelligence, taking on such a hair-trigger subject, to word that position a whole lot better.

  • http://twitter.com/KayGester KayGee

    Taking quotes out of context? Oh goodness, heavens to mercy, no no no. what kind of unscrupulous individuals would twist words out of context like that?!! “You didn’t build that!” “What difference does it make?”

  • DorothyGrissom

    Wow. Such “intelligent” Liberal logic. Who knew Libs were so…um…inarticulate.

  • DorothyGrissom

    Wow. Such “intelligent” Liberal logic. Who knew Libs were so…um…inarticulate.

  • BeeKaaay

    Leftwingwackos are racist.

  • BeeKaaay

    Leftwingwackos are racist.

  • dcnj

    Spectacle never the truth. Liberal 101

  • texaswc

    The sad part is that these people have forgotten WHY it was created in the first place….in this day, it is no longer needed, no longer serves a purpose…removal of it will have zero effect on ANYONE’s voting rights, whatsoever…How hard is that to understand? I guess education just isn’t part of their lives, isn’t something they take serious enough so that they would actually learn something … One of the biggest problems with his country, failure to get educated…