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Scalia Calls The Right To Vote An "Entitlement". Should He Be Impeached?

ProudProgressive 2013/02/28 12:43:24
Yes kick the bum out
No only rich white men should be allowed to vote
It's Obama's fault.  I don't know why, but it's Obama's fault
Undecided
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One of the most cherished rights every American enjoys is the Right to Vote. In a representative democracy like the United States, voting is the means by which The People have an input into how their nation is run. For decades conservatives have understood that the best way for them to win elections is to prevent as many people as they can from voting. First there were poll taxes, intended to keep the poor from having a voice. When they were abolished by Constitutional Amendment, the conservatives moved on to other tactics. William Rehnquist, the late Chief Justice of the United States, "made his bones" with the Republican Party by intimidating Arizona voters and threatening them with jail or deportation to dissuade them from voting. More recently, we have seen a wave of ALEC-inspired voter suppression laws passed across this country, using the argument that nonexistent voter fraud is a justification for disenfranchising up to five million legal American voters.

The last bastion of justice in this country is supposed to be the Supreme Court. One of its most vital functions is to protect the rights of the little people against the onslaught of the big people. Nowhere is this more important than in the area of voting rights. After a history of voter intimidation based mainly on race, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act. It was most recently extended by the Senate in a 98-0 vote. But with the growing evidence of the Republican Party's complete disconnect with the will of the American people, the conservatives have grown more desperate. The 2012 election saw over 2 million Americans denied their constitutional rights, millions of others forced to wait on all-day lines to cast their vote because of cuts in early voting hours and polling places by Republican governors, and a general assault on the simple act of choosing one's own representatives.

Yesterday Antonin Scalia made clear that he has abandoned his role as an impartial arbiter of the law. His views in Bush v. Gore, when he discarded a national election to help appoint a man the People did not choose, was the first major sign. His leadership in endowing corporations with rights they are not entitled to in order to allow them to literally buy elections in Citizens United was another indication. And now, in oral arguments over the legality of the Voting Rights Act, Antonin Scalia dropped the last pretense of jurisprudence, when he declared that the right to vote is NOT a right at all, but is merely an "entitlement". A right cannot be taken from someone. An entitlement can. If Scalia manages to convince four of his colleagues to go along with him (not a heavy lift in the most activist conservative court in American history), this country may have seen its last free election.

This can be prevented. The Constitution provides that a Justice shall serve "upon good behavior." Antonin Scalia no longer has the capacity for good behavior. He has abandoned his obligation to apply the Constitution fairly and impartially, and has become just another arm of the Right Wing drive to transform this country into a theological oligarchy. It is time for him to go. NOW.

(And as an added bonus for the hypocrites on the right - in the photo above Antonin Scalia is shown NOT PUTTING HIS HAND ON HIS HEART DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM!! Please keep this in mind the next time you are tempted to attack the President for allegedly doing the same thing once, a long time ago.)

Article excerpt follows:

Scalia: Voting Rights Act Is ‘Perpetuation Of Racial Entitlement'
By Nicole Flatow and Ian Millhiser
Feb 27, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC — There were audible gasps in the Supreme Court's lawyers' lounge, where audio of the oral argument is pumped in for members of the Supreme Court bar, when Justice Antonin Scalia offered his assessment of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. He called it a "perpetuation of racial entitlement."

The comment came as part of a larger riff on a comment Scalia made the last time the landmark voting law was before the justices. Noting the fact that the Voting Rights Act reauthorization passed 98-0 when it was before the Senate in 2006, Scalia claimed four years ago that this unopposed vote actually undermines the law: "The Israeli supreme court, the Sanhedrin, used to have a rule that if the death penalty was pronounced unanimously, it was invalid, because there must be something wrong there."

That was an unusual comment when it was made, but Scalia's expansion on it today raises concerns that his suspicion of the Act is rooted much more in racial resentment than in a general distrust of unanimous votes. Scalia noted when the Voting Rights Act was first enacted in 1965, it passed over 19 dissenters. In subsequent reauthorizations, the number of dissenters diminished, until it passed the Senate without dissent seven years ago. Scalia's comments suggested that this occurred, not because of a growing national consensus that racial disenfranchisement is unacceptable, but because lawmakers are too afraid to be tarred as racists. His inflammatory claim that the Voting Rights Act is a "perpetuation of racial entitlement" came close to the end of a long statement on why he found a landmark law preventing race discrimination in voting to be suspicious.

It should be noted that even one of Scalia's fellow justices felt the need to call out his remark. Justice Sotomayor asked the attorney challenging the Voting Right Act whether he thought voting rights are a racial entitlement as soon as he took the podium for rebuttal.

The transcript of the oral argument is now available.

JUSTICE SCALIA: Well, maybe it was making that judgment, Mr. Verrilli. But that's — that's a problem that I have. This Court doesn't like to get involved in — in racial questions such as this one. It's something that can be left — left to Congress.

The problem here, however, is suggested by the comment I made earlier, that the initial enactment of this legislation in a — in a time when the need for it was so much more abundantly clear was — in the Senate, there — it was double-digits against it. And that was only a 5-year term.

Then, it is reenacted 5 years later, again for a 5-year term. Double-digits against it in the Senate. Then it was reenacted for 7 years. Single digits against it. Then enacted for 25 years, 8 Senate votes against it. And this last enactment, not a single vote in the Senate against it. And the House is pretty much the same. Now, I don't think that's attributable to the fact that it is so much clearer now that we need this. I think it is attributable, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement. It's been written about. Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.

I don't think there is anything to be gained by any Senator to vote against continuation of this act. And I am fairly confident it will be reenacted in perpetuity unless — unless a court can say it does not comport with the Constitution. You have to show, when you are treating different States differently, that there's a good reason for it.

That's the — that's the concern that those of us who — who have some questions about this statute have. It's — it's a concern that this is not the kind of a question you can leave to Congress. There are certain districts in the House that are black districts by law just about now. And even the Virginia Senators, they have no interest in voting against this. The State government is not their government, and they are going to lose — they are going to lose votes if they do not reenact the Voting Rights Act.

Even the name of it is wonderful: The Voting Rights Act. Who is going to vote against that in the future?

Read More: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/02/27/164689...

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Top Opinion

  • findthelight2000 2013/02/28 14:36:34 (edited)
    Yes kick the bum out
    findthelight2000
    +17
    Any Supreme Court Justice that makes a claim that is so egregiously against the US Constitution that he/she is there to uphold (as this is), or votes in that manner should definitely be impeached.

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  • Mj PINKYFINGERDOWN 2013/03/12 02:19:26
  • roxie 2013/03/02 13:14:47
    Yes kick the bum out
    roxie
    Retire him like the Pope!
  • Steelshrt 2013/03/02 04:54:28
    Undecided
    Steelshrt
    Actually, he has the right to his opinion, no matter how stupid it makes him sound.
  • Centrist_Bill 2013/03/02 01:12:26
    Yes kick the bum out
    Centrist_Bill
    nuff said.
  • joseph digristina 2013/03/02 01:03:59
  • Giantfan 2013/03/01 23:44:39
    Undecided
    Giantfan
    Scalia is an ass nothing more and nothing less. Just because he made such a stupid comment hasn't changed my personal opinion of the man. He always was and always will be a jerk in my book.
  • Joe Shwingding BN-ZERO 2013/03/01 20:57:16
    Yes kick the bum out
    Joe Shwingding BN-ZERO
    havent we progressed any since the 1800's?
  • fortycal_sig 2013/03/01 14:11:42
    Undecided
    fortycal_sig
    +1
    Post is a rambling confused mess. Scalia raises some important questions, and whether one generally agrees or disagrees with him (I generally disagree with him, in fact), calling him a racist for raising them is intellectually dishonest.
  • MapoTofu 2013/03/01 13:39:40
    Undecided
    MapoTofu
    +1
    Your beef has a Liberal slant. Voter fraud does exist. And just because you need proof of citizenship that does not constitute suppression by the Right. Voting is an entitlement for all AMERICANS.
  • Joey MapoTofu 2013/03/03 22:59:36
    Joey
    I love how Republican claim Dems use voter fraud . When in their own primaries . Ron Paul was frauded out of winning some states.
  • MapoTofu Joey 2013/03/04 04:15:30
    MapoTofu
    I love how Dems claim Republicans suppress votes just because we want proof of where you come from, before your vote is counted.
  • Joey MapoTofu 2013/03/04 04:18:44
    Joey
    So no comment on Republicans messing over there own people.
  • MapoTofu Joey 2013/03/07 00:01:24
    MapoTofu
    Huh?
  • Joey MapoTofu 2013/03/07 04:58:03
  • MapoTofu Joey 2013/03/07 22:44:15
    MapoTofu
    Leave it to the United States Government and the idiots we "elect" to screw up the simple act of casting a vote. This topic bores me, and I still don't know what your point is, though it seems you agree with mine, that voter fraud exists, regardless of what side it's on. Show up, show ID that proves you live in the county, cast your vote, make sure the vote is somehow counted and not duplicated or missed, and call it a day. Jeez. Everything is so damn difficult - early voting, counties, legal vs illegal, ID or no ID .. I can't take it anymore.
  • wahrheit 2013/03/01 12:07:52
    Undecided
    wahrheit
    +1
    Maybe if you understood the issues and the law in question you'd be able to construct a poll.

    1) Voter fraud includes disenfranchisement of eligible voters,as well as casting illegal ballots-- and it absolutely does exist-- in both forms.

    2) A culturally based prejudice against people of a particular ethnicity is generally held as inappropriate-- and unconstitutional in the US-- even if those people happen to be Caucasian southerners.

    3) Every American does not have the right to vote-- nor should they. Those who are not eligible to vote include: Anyone not mentally fit. Suffering from dementia does not make a person not an American-- but it does mean a loss of independent capability to decide at some point, and creates the opportunity for another person to decide for them-- which is voter fraud.
  • Joey wahrheit 2013/03/03 23:01:44
    Joey
    2) I love this .. the one of the most racist counties, in the most racist state , in the most racist part of the nation is complaining about prejudice aimed at white people. Bc they are being stopped from hurting the black vote.
  • SonofSpermcube 2013/03/01 11:04:07
  • rikonjohn 2013/03/01 09:45:33
    Undecided
    rikonjohn
    Undecided over a technical issue.

    I don't know the procedure for ousting a Supreme Court Justice. As far as I know there isn't one. If there is one, I don't think the right term is "impeachment", but I'd be happy to be proven wrong.
  • Dave 2013/03/01 06:44:33
    Yes kick the bum out
    Dave
    +1
    Whenever Scalia speaks it makes you wonder how he got on teh Supreme Court. He truly is an idiot or a sociopath.
  • twocrows Dave 2013/03/02 06:07:05
    twocrows
    +1
    he was appointed by Reagan.
    nuff said.
  • Dave twocrows 2013/03/02 07:11:16
    Dave
    Yup! i didn't think it was that long ago.
  • jubil8 BN-0 PON 2013/03/01 06:02:11
    Undecided
    jubil8 BN-0 PON
    +2
    Not undecided, I think the man belongs in a museum -- a natural history museum somewhere between Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon.

    But I don't think this statement is an impeachable offense. Sad, but true.

    I'd be interested in hearing his views on who gets to select the Entitled Ones in a democratic republic.
  • twocrows jubil8 ... 2013/03/02 06:05:10
    twocrows
    +1
    hit nail on head
    how I wish I could rave your statement 182 times!
  • jubil8 ... twocrows 2013/03/31 01:43:11
    jubil8 BN-0 PON
    Thank you. Why 182 times? Is that how many nails you have lol?
  • new mexico PWCM~JLA 2013/03/01 05:49:30 (edited)
    Undecided
    new mexico PWCM~JLA
    +2
    aaa sss ddd fff

    Anyone who should try to take away our rights and not uphold the Constitution should be impeached! Let us join now and begin!
  • Joey new mex... 2013/03/03 23:02:24
    Joey
    YOu know Obama has the same view on the 2 admenment as Reagan right ?
  • new mex... Joey 2013/03/05 04:41:51
    new mexico PWCM~JLA
    No, explain please.
  • Joey new mex... 2013/03/05 05:10:53
    Joey
    +2
    http://www.politifact.com/geo...

    In fact Reagan did more . As gov. of CA he pasted this thing call the Mulford act .

    http://www.keepandbeararms.co...
  • new mex... Joey 2013/03/05 05:38:46
    new mexico PWCM~JLA
    +1
    Interesting read, they did have very similar views on the so called " assault" weapons, along with the 10 round mag capacity limit. Reagan’s stance was that violent crime would never be eliminated, with or without gun control. Instead, he said, efforts to curb crime should target those who misuse guns, similarly to the way laws target those who use an automobile feloniously or recklessly. Saying the Second Amendment “leaves little, if any, leeway for the gun control advocate,” he added that “the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms must not be infringed if liberty in America is to survive.”
    The lone piece of significant legislation related to gun rights during the Reagan administration was the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986. Signed into law by Reagan on May 19, 1986, the legislation amended the Gun Control Act of 1968 by repealing parts of the original act that were deemed by studies to be unconstitutional
    .A more lasting impact of Reagan’s policy on guns was the nomination of several Supreme Court justices. Of the four justices nominated by Reagan — Sandra Day O’Connor, William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy — the latter two were still on the bench for a pair of important Supreme Court rulings on gun rights in the 2000s: District of Columbia v. Hel...
    Interesting read, they did have very similar views on the so called " assault" weapons, along with the 10 round mag capacity limit. Reagan’s stance was that violent crime would never be eliminated, with or without gun control. Instead, he said, efforts to curb crime should target those who misuse guns, similarly to the way laws target those who use an automobile feloniously or recklessly. Saying the Second Amendment “leaves little, if any, leeway for the gun control advocate,” he added that “the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms must not be infringed if liberty in America is to survive.”
    The lone piece of significant legislation related to gun rights during the Reagan administration was the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986. Signed into law by Reagan on May 19, 1986, the legislation amended the Gun Control Act of 1968 by repealing parts of the original act that were deemed by studies to be unconstitutional
    .A more lasting impact of Reagan’s policy on guns was the nomination of several Supreme Court justices. Of the four justices nominated by Reagan — Sandra Day O’Connor, William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy — the latter two were still on the bench for a pair of important Supreme Court rulings on gun rights in the 2000s: District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008 and McDonald v. Chicago in 2010. Both sided with a narrow, 4-3 majority in striking down gun bans in Washington D.C. and Chicago while ruling that the Second Amendment applies to individuals and the states. Again thanks for the info, take care.
    (more)
  • Gregaj7 2013/03/01 05:18:32
    Undecided
    Gregaj7
    The two places, and the folk within them, I want to "impeach" (with EXTREME prejudice) are the "Square Mile" within London (international banking hq) and the Vatican.
  • T J 2013/03/01 04:25:07 (edited)
  • Will of Truth 2013/03/01 03:12:26
    Undecided
    Will of Truth
    +1
    "every American" with the exception of Felons. So doesn't that make it an entitlement. If not wouldn't felons be able to vote.
  • Mark P. 2013/03/01 02:13:32
    Undecided
    Mark P.
    +2
    No more than the wise latino woman and the ever lying Kagan.
  • GANGA~Patriotic Revolution ... 2013/03/01 00:59:13 (edited)
    Undecided
    GANGA~Patriotic Revolution BL-100+
    +3
    LOL!

    ThinkProgress's Vicious cycle on display, again!



    There is a certain strain of progressivism that cannot regard any question as worthy of examination on its merits. In this philosophy, the outcome is all that matters. To those who have been infected with this sordid little creed, process can go hang providing that power is exercised as they wish and that each and every one of their sentiments is indulged in perpetuity. Meanwhile, those who hang on to notions of law and reason are assumed to be concealing bad motives — or, worse, as being secretly evil. Better just to speak platitudes than deal with anything thorny, eh?

    http://www.nationalreview.com...
  • Jackie G - Poker Playing Pa... 2013/03/01 00:41:32
    Undecided
    Jackie G - Poker Playing Patriot
    +3
    Oh go for it - be fun watching left make fools out of themselves once again.
  • mmanultra 2013/03/01 00:30:02
    Undecided
    mmanultra
    +1
    whatcha talking about? Democracy works, because among a sea of voices we select one person, maybe ten or more, that can get stuff done. The advantages of Greece and Rome, plus Classic Rock!
  • kmay 2013/03/01 00:26:25
    Undecided
    kmay
    +1
    Democrat over-reaction once again. Read this as posted by SH Erin below...

    http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.co...
  • Mishka 2013/03/01 00:19:42
    Undecided
    Mishka
    I am not too sure as I know nothing of this, but what about your Judge that went to Egypt and recommended the Egyptians dont develop their new Constitution based on America's but rather South Africa's? I thought American judges would be very enthusiastic about American law and the American Constitution. I am just curious what Americans think.
  • Avenged7 2013/03/01 00:18:16
    Yes kick the bum out
    Avenged7
    +1
    Yes this pompous a-hole shouldn't even be on the court. Of course the other 4 right wingers aren't much better. The 5 of them are political hacks masquerading as S.C. Justices. They are using the Court for their political agenda. This is the most activist court in modern times. Maybe of all times. Roberts seemed to be more inclined to defend white voters then actually care about whether black voters should have the right to vote. I heard someone call this court the white supremest court. Very true!!!

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