by DAVID HORSEY (Baltimore Sun)
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is alleged to be one of the great intellects of conservative jurisprudence, but his comments during oral arguments over a challenge to the 1965 Voting Rights Act displayed all the mental acuity of a third-tier talk radio bozo.
Shelby County, Ala., is making the case against the voting law. Section 5 of the act empowers the federal government to negate new local and state voting rules if they would lead to discrimination against minority voters. It has been enforced primarily in Southern states that had a long, dismal history of preventing African Americans from voting. Shelby County contends the problem has been remedied and so Section 5 is no longer justified.
Georgia’s U.S. Rep. John Lewis begs to differ. Lewis was severely beaten in Selma, Ala., during the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” police riot directed against peaceful civil rights marchers. The horror of that scene as it played out on America’s television screens led directly to congressional approval of the Voting Rights Act. MORE
"The right to vote is the core of our constitutional democracy. It is not, as Justice Scalia says, "a racial entitlement," it is an American entitlement. It seems that might be a very useful thing for Congress to watch over and protect. It was eminently important in 1965 and remains important today." – David Horsey, Baltimore Sun
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