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Bloggings: Hatred Against Minorities Reigns Supreme - In The Nation's Highest Court. By Roger Algase

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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia sent a profound shock, not only through the nation's highest court, but through all of America, when he stated during oral argument on February 27 that Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which requires Justice Department pre-clearance for voting law changes by states and localities with a history of discrimination against minorities, amounts to "perpetuation of racial entitlement".


In other words, in his view, ensuring that African-American, Latino, Asian and Native American US citizens will have the same right to vote as white Americans is equivalent to granting minorities a preference because of race. This is a direct throwback to the language of the pre-1965 Southern segregationists who railed against "Negro bloc voting".


Justice Scalia's statement has no place in America's highest court. It has no place anywhere in America. Does Justice Scalia want to take America back half a century, to the time when many states were allowed to get away with denying people the right to vote based solely on the color of their skin?


It is also shocking that none of the five right wing Justices seemed willing to pay the slightest attention to the massive voter suppression efforts against minority US citizens which took place in the 2012 election, not only in Southern states such as Florida and Texas, but in critical Northern states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania. The Voting Rights Act needs to be extended to many other states and localities, not struck down by one of the most blatantly political, right wing Supreme Courts in modern history.


The above language of hatred is by no means an aberration coming from Justice Scalia, as shown by the following extract from his opinion last June in US v. Arizona, 567 US__(2012).


"To the contrary, two of the Constitution's provisions were designed to enable the states to prevent 'the intrusion of obnoxious aliens through other states.' "


True, Justice Scalia is only quoting here. But why pick this particular quotation? Does Justice Scalia want to take America back to the pre-1965 era, not only in terms of voting rights, but in terms of racial immigration quotas as well? He has never said so explicitly, so far as I am aware, but using such intemperate language in order to defend immigration laws which have driven large numbers of Latinos out of states such as Arizona and Alabama is certainly a step in that direction.


And the following is a quote from Justice Scalia's dissent in Lawrence v. Texas 539 US 558 (2003) dealing with gay rights: 


"Today's opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct."


All of the above bigoted quotations are directly related to immigration reform. If the anti-minority voter suppression techniques which Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is an important tool for opposing had been successful last fall, Mitt Romney might now be president,"self-deportation" would be federal government policy, and no one would be talking about legalizing millions of unauthorized immigrants or making legal visas easier for significant numbers of people.


The issue of immigration rights for same sex couples, which is due to be decided by the Supreme Court shortly, could also turn out to be a stumbling bloc to immigration reform, because of Republican insistence on denying green cards to same sex marriage partners.


Hatred against all minorities is bad for immigration. This should be our lesson from Justice Scalia and his supporters.



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