Voting rights advocates are shocked.
Scalia made the comment while discussing Congress’s 2006 re-authorization of the law, which was done by a vote of 99-0 in the Senate and 390-33 in the House. According to Scalia, that vote indicates political fear among lawmakers more than any actual need for the protections provided by the law. “I don’t think there is anything to gain by any senator by voting against this Act,” he said. “This is not the kind of question you can leave to Congress. They’re going to lose votes if they vote against the Voting Rights Act. Even the name is wonderful.”
Justice Sonia Sotomayor challenged Scalia’s comments, asking “Do you think Section 5 was voted for because it was a racial entitlement?” She also asked “Do you think racial discrimination has ended?”