The Supreme Court’s conservative justices have expressed skepticism regarding a key element of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Specifically, they voiced displeasure with a provision that forces states with a history of discrimination to have changes to their election process approved.
Liberal and conservative justices went back and forth for a tense 70 minutes over the provison.
Chief Justice John Roberts asked the government’s top Supreme Court lawyer whether the Obama administration thinks Southerners “are more racist than citizens in the North.”
The answer from Solicitor General Donald Verrilli was no.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor acknowledged some parts of the South had changed, but asserted that recent voting rights lawsuits in Alabama suggested that Shelby County, near Birmingham, has not made sufficient progress.
“Why would we vote in favor of your county whose enforcement record is the epitome of the reasons that cause this law to be passed in the first place?” Sotomayor said.
The provision currently applies to Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia, as well as counties in California, Florida, New York, North Carolina and South Dakota.
A decision on the matter is expected in June.
Clearly there is still a need for this provision of the Voting Right’s Act. Hopefully these justices come to their senses.
Could they really repeal such a necessary law?
Sound off below!