Justice Antonin Scalia had the Supreme Court’s lawyers’ lounge in shock when he gave his perception of what he thought the key provision of the Voting Rights Act was. The Justice called it a “perpetuation of racial entitlement,” according to ThinkProgress.
Scalia’s reaction to the Voting Rights Act stemmed from a comment he made the last time the landmark Act passed 98-0 in 2006 when it went before the Senate.
Scalia claimed the vote passed without dissenters because lawmakers are fearful of being labeled as racists.
The Voting Rights Act was enacted in 1965 to prohibit “voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure … to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”
Scalia reportedly said that his biggest concern was that the Act passed without any opposition.
“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,” said Scalia to illustrate how an act passed without opposition undermines the law.
When the Voting Rights Act was enacted in 1965 it passed despite 19 dissenting votes.