Conservatives Criticize Shelby County Reasoning

Nina Totenberg for NPR on the voting rights decision:

Although the decision was hailed by many political conservatives, its reviews from academic and judicial conservatives were considerably less admiring.

Harvard Law professor Charles Fried, a former state Supreme Court justice who served as the Reagan administration’s advocate in the Supreme Court, thought the court’s decision was just wrong.

“Because we’re not there yet,” he says. “We’re not there yet, and the facts on the ground in Shelby County itself showed that.”

Stanford’s McConnell says the decision’s reasoning is just “made up.”

“There’s no requirement in the Constitution to treat all states the same,” he said. “It might be an attractive principle, but it doesn’t seem to be in the Constitution.”

John McGinnis of Northwestern University Law School agrees, suggesting that the court’s conservatives let their own policy disagreements with Congress trump the clear meaning of the Constitution and the post Civil War amendments.

“I’m sorry to say I think this opinion was as singular a failure as I’ve seen in the history of the Supreme Court,” McGinnis said at a recent judicial conference.

Much more on Shelby County’s reasoning coming up soon.

UPDATE:  See this update.  It appears that McGinnis made these comments in connection with Windsor, not Shelby County.

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