The gasp heard round the Supreme Court

The gasp heard round the Supreme Court

Yesterday, one shocking statement spurred audible gasps in the Supreme Court. During oral arguments about Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires historically discriminatory states and counties get federal approval before changing their voting laws, Justice Antonin Scalia described the key provision as a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.” Maybe Justice Scalia is unaware that racial inequality still exists in our nation.

Perhaps Scalia doesn't realize voters in many minority districts waited up to nine hours to vote in the last election. Maybe it doesn't matter to him that African Americans still face an unemployment rate that's twice as high as whites. Or perhaps Justice Scalia isn't concerned about the income disparity between whites and people of color that a new study from Brandeis University recently pointed out.

Despite all the evidence of racial inequality, Justice Scalia instead made a racist comment about entitlements. Maybe all those statistics just don't matter to Antonin Scalia. His racially-charged statement alone clearly shows why the Voting Rights Act, and efforts like it, should be strengthened, not eliminated. Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, of The African American Ministers Leadership Council, spoke out against Scalia's statement, saying, “Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act doesn't represent the 'perpetuation of racial entitlement,' … Rather, it is one of the more important tools we have for confronting the entitlement of those who believe some people's votes and voices should matter more than others.”

Justice Scalia was right about one thing – we are all entitled to the right to vote. It's time our leaders fight to make every vote and every voice equal in our nation. They can do so by continuing to fight for equality and by expanding the Voting Rights Act to protect the vote of everyone in our nation.

Comments

steffb503's picture
steffb503 1 year 25 weeks ago

I have a question?

Is there any recourse if a Supreme Court Judge does in fact go beyond their juristiction?

Can a Justice be impeached?

doccoach's picture
doccoach 1 year 25 weeks ago

It is sad that our Judicial wing of our government has become so blatantly political. Their job is to rule on constitutionality .....not offer personal opinions and perceptions that seem transparently racial, pro-rich, and fly in the face of what they propose to protect....the right to LIFE LIBERTY AND PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS for ALL

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 1 year 25 weeks ago

Justice Scalia has outlived his usefullness on the Supreme Court. It is time for him to step down. I suggest an amendment to the appointment of Justices and Federal Judges from a lifetime appointment to a twenty year appointment. Twenty years should insulate judges from the whims of local politics. However a lifetime appointment may give an appointed Judge too much power. The third branch of our government's highest officials serve by appointment not election. These nine Justices wield long term effects, they ought to be restrained from unlimited power. I think Scalia has served too long, he believes in himself more than the wisdom of the American people. Time for him to stop embarrassing himself and go quietly into retirement.

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 1 year 25 weeks ago

Yes, Supreme Court Justices can be impeached by the House and tried by the Senate (verify).

What we have here with Scalia is spillover of the pseudo-reality crafted by the demagogues of the Radical-Right. They speak from the knowledge-base that they live in -- which has evolved from indoctrination and spin-meistering by Rush Limberger, Reagan and their various Wannabees over several decades.

Entitlements? Everyone "knows" that's how it is, because it is and has been well documented through the years on Fox-News, etc, etc.. It's racial inequality, for sure; but by minorities against the hard-working majority. Everyone knows that!

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 1 year 25 weeks ago

This reminds me of those conservative christians who refered to equal rights for gays and lesbians as "special rights"; horribly offensive!!!

Where do these arrogant bastards come from???

Catharren's picture
Catharren 1 year 25 weeks ago

It is time for Scalia to retire

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 1 year 25 weeks ago

What really ticks me off is that working class citizens form all ethnic backgrounds and from all sexual orientations contribute to the salary and benefits of this bigoted imbecile by the name of Antonin Scalia. We can't fire him and we can't vote him out.

I think Scalia's comment is coming from a very frustrated, conservative ideologue, who knows the game is almost over. No matter how much he desires to suppress the vote, social progressive change is at hand and it's way beyond his control to stop it.

Speaking of beyond his control....will Cantor's Teabaggers go along with his desire to reinstate 60 billion in defense spending for the year? Will they change their minds and embrace what they formerly considered out of control socialist Govt. spending?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 25 weeks ago

Retire?! Scalia doesn't deserve retirement. I'd rather see that black-robed bigot face a firing squad for his latest assault. Hasn't our democracy been damaged enough?!!!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 1 year 24 weeks ago

ABC radio news reports that Turtleman says regarding the sequester, there will be no last minute back room deals and absolutely no deals that involve tax increases. TAX INCREASES ON WHO? Let's report the whole truth and nothing but the TRUTH! The vast majority of, we the people, support the tax increases ABC news and their media outlet cousins are afraid to mention. Can't they for just once screw the billionaire's God Almighty Dollar, respect our democracy, and be responsible with reporting the god damn news. The country is headed for an economic collapse and the disinformation is simply a rich mans weapon that will ultimately cause untold pain for vast numbers of hard working citizens. The end to all of this will be just as unpleasant for the billionaires and media whores as it is for those they are stealing from and impoverishing.

rocketman1701's picture
rocketman1701 1 year 24 weeks ago

Here is the sad thing.... where is the uproar in the press! Where are the headlines????? Hey, wait a minute he said it was a "perpetuation of a racial entitlement" --- which entitlement was that.... the entitlement of people of color to vote. Ummm your honor, you said that like it was a bad thing... like people of color should not be entitled to vote.... oh wait.... that is EXACTLY WHAT HE MEANT!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 24 weeks ago

"2950-10K" says: "Can't they for just once screw the billionaire's God Almighty Dollar, respect our democracy, and be responsible with reporting the god damn news [?]"

I wouldn't hold my breath. Those pundits are the enemy. Their role is to placate us with fluff & infotainment, thus upholding a status quo that is choking the life out of our democracy. When the plain truth is something this twisted and ugly, they'll minimize it in an effort to avoid the wrath of the "masses". - Alice I.W.

RepubliCult's picture
RepubliCult 1 year 24 weeks ago

Supreme Courtesan Scalia: Resign in Disgrace!

Every appalling utterance of Scalia restates the necessity for Term Limits for all Supreme Courtesans. If he won't retire until dead, there should be another way:
Imagine if we simply had an 18 year limit for the Supreme Court in effect back in 2000. We would not have Rehnquist or O’Connor to tamper with the sanctity of the voting process – okay, some would prefer to say “destroy democracy” as they refused to ensure all Florida votes were simply counted correctly. With the sweetest irony, O’Connor would have had to retire under a Democratic president, Bill Clinton. We all know her wish was to retire under a Republican president, and thus she cast the deciding vote that ushered George W Bush into the White House. Term Limits = No Bush. Scalia and Thomas would also not be there to give us Citizens United. And we’d not be looking at Scalia and Friends salivating to eviscerate the Voting Rights Act.

But you may correctly say, "That's a two edged sword that can cut both ways." Under a simple 18 year limit it’s true that one of our greatest liberal Associate Justices, Brennan, would have left the bench in 1974. But I’d add: Any ex-AJ could be nominated again, and I could see Carter putting Brennan back on the court during his term! I can’t imagine the Courtesans Scalia or Thomas being nominated AND approved for a 2nd term. (Unfortunately Carter did not have the opportunity to nominate any AJ. 18 term limits would have given him and every president a chance to put justices onto the bench.)

The idea is not new, some in depth info is available to spur a call to action:
http://epstein.usc.edu/research/supctLawCalabresi.pdf
and
http://www.amazon.com/Reforming-Court-Limits-Supreme-Justices/dp/1594602131

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If Earth's resources were a credit card, we have already maxed out our entire allocation for this year. The think thank Global Footprint Network announced that August 19th was “Earth Overshoot Day,” meaning that all the resources we use after that day exceed what our planet can produce in a single year.

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