I’ve been seething for a few days now over Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s outrageous comment calling the Voting Rights Act a “racial entitlement”. There’s an article by LEONARD PITTS JR. in the Miami Herald that sums up everything I’ve been feeling about the injustice of The Supreme Court even hearing this argument. Although concise and extremely eloquent there is one very important aspect that Mr Pitts article left out. Supreme Court justices are not elected or held accountable by the people. They are lifetime appointments appointed by whatever party is in the white house whenever a seat becomes open (which is rare). The Voting Rights Act was enacted by congress and upheld by congress with overwhelming bipartisan support for almost 50 years now. Congress is an elected body who serves as a voice for their constituents aka THE VOICE OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. Justice Scalia not only wants to destroy The Voting Rights Act, he wants to remove the power to uphold or overturn the Voting Rights Act away from a democratically elected body who are there to represent the American people and transfer that power to an appointed body who can make decisions that goes against the intentions and will of the American people without scrutiny or recourse. This is one of the most radical concepts the bench has ever seen. The Supreme Court has never done this or even contemplated doing this in the history of our nation. If Justice Scalia is allowed to remove the power of congress as he sees fit, we are no longer a democratic country. It’s unconstitutional, it serves to further disenfranchise minority voters (which is his intention), it’s a huge step back from the progress we’ve made toward equal rights, it makes the voice of the American people irrelevant and it sets a very dangerous precedent for future legislation. This is not a democrat vs republican issue. The last time the Voting Rights act went through congress in 2006 99% of democrats AND REPUBLICANS voted to extend it, but unfortunately current house republicans aren’t speaking out and condemning Justice Scalia. That says a lot about how different this crop of republican law makers are from where they were just 6 or 7 years ago. If you can’t publicly support The Voting Rights Act as popular and as needed as it is, then what can you support? The silence from the hill is deafening.
Miami Herald article I referenced:
*please excuse the poor quality graphic. My Sony Vaio is having tech issues so I had to use my backup that does not have photo shop installed. I’ll make a new one as soon as I can and replace this one.*