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…”what had happened was I had followed Clarence (Thomas).”

According to Business Insider:

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made headlines when he called the Voting Rights Act a “racial entitlement,” and now he’s revealing the rationale behind that inflammatory comment. The high court is currently reviewing Section 5 of the VRA, which requires states with histories of discrimination against minority voters (mostly in the South) to get permission from the federal government before changing their election laws. The law was passed in 1965 when Southern states used extreme measures to keep blacks away from the polls, including violence, poll taxes, and literacy tests.

Speaking to university students Monday night, Scalia said Section 5 is a “racial entitlement” because the U.S. doesn’t take an equal interest in protecting white voters from racial discrimination, the Wall Street Journal’s Jess Bravin reports. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was meant to be a stopgap measure to respond to racial discrimination but became an “embedded” form of “racial preferment,” Scalia told students at the University of California Washington Center.

Interesting…he also brings up his black justice buddy Clarence Thomas.

Via Wall Street Journal:

Justice Scalia long has resisted claims that the Constitution prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, and dissented from a 2003 decision striking down sodomy laws that criminalized gay sex.

Other questions involved matters of particular interest to lawyers and inveterate court watchers. One student asked if it was true that Justice Clarence Thomas, after joining the court in 1991, was the one who led Justice Scalia to the right, rather than other way around.

“Yes, it is true,” Justice Scalia said, suggesting that in the 1990s the news media unsuccessfully tried to pressure Justice Thomas to moderate his positions by painting him as a pawn of Justice Scalia. But behind the scenes, “what happened was I had followed Clarence.”

Likewise, Justice Scalia added, media fascination with Justice Thomas’s habitual silence at oral argument was likely to harden his resolve to keep his peace. Justice Thomas is “a very stubborn man,” Justice Scalia said.




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