Two United States Supreme Court conservative justices suggested on Wednesday that the 1965 Voting Rights Act may be ruled unconstitutional in the case of Shelby County v. Holder (video below).
The 1965 Voting Rights Act, signed by President Lyndon Johnson, banned poll taxes and literacy tests that were being used in Southern states to stop blacks from voting.
“Is it the government’s submission that the citizens in the South are more racist than the citizens in the North?” Chief Justice John Roberts asked Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, reports USA Today.
Justice Antonin Scalia said that when Congress voted overwhelmingly to reauthorize the 1965 Voting Rights Act in 1970, 1975, 1982 and 2006, it was “a phenomenon that is called 'perpetuation of racial entitlement'.”
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Justice Anthony Kennedy, the likely swing vote, accused Congress of “reverse engineering” with its 2006 reauthorization of the Section 5 restrictions (in the 1965 Voting Rights Act) on southern states.
“I think it’s a safe prediction to say that the Voting Rights Act, as it now stands, is not going to survive,” NBC’s Pete Williams reported today. “The question is how far will the Supreme Court go in striking parts of it down?”
Source: USA Today