Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told university students that key provisions of the Voting Rights Act had evolved from an emergency response to racial discrimination in 1965 to an “embedded” form of “racial preferment” that would likely continue indefinitely unless the court acts to end them.
Justice Scalia, speaking Monday night at the University of California Washington Center, elaborated on remarks he made in February during Supreme Court arguments over the act’s Section 5, which requires states and localities that historically discriminated against minority voters to obtain federal approval to change election procedures.
Section 5 functions as a racial entitlement because the federal government doesn’t take a similar interest in protecting the voting rights of white people from racial discrimination, Justice Scalia said.
The remarks are not much different from what Justice Scalia said at oral argument in the Shelby County case, but I find it pretty remarkable that he’d make these comments off the bench while Shelby County remains pending.
UPDATE: It gets worse, as Justice Scalia appears to tip his hand on how he’s voting in an upcoming case.