WASHINGTON — Conservative justices on the Supreme Court expressed skepticism Wednesday about whether the federal government should still be requiring preclearance of voting system changes in certain places with a history of racial discrimination in elections.
Justice Antonin Scalia suggested that the continuation of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act represented the “perpetuation of racial entitlement,” saying that lawmakers had only voted to renew the act in 2006 because there wasn’t anything to be gained politically from voting against it.
“Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes,” Scalia said during oral argument in Shelby County v. Holder.
“Even the name of it is wonderful, the Voting Rights Act. Who’s going to vote against that?” Scalia wondered. He said that the Voting Rights Act had effectively created “black districts by law.”
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