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Gothmog

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Member since: Mon Apr 5, 2004, 04:58 PM
Number of posts: 12,524

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Update of SCOTUS oral arguments on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act

The oral arguments for this case occurred this morning. The following persons made the arguments http://www.scotusblog.com/2013/02/argument-preview-the-courts-options-on-voting-rights/

Urging the Court to strike down those provisions will be Bert W. Rein of the Washington, D.C., law firm of Wiley Rein LLP. Dividing time in defense of the law will be the U.S. Solicitor General, Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., with twenty minutes to represent the federal government, and Debo P. Adegbile, an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York City, with ten minutes to represent individual voters and other private defenders of the law.


Mr. Adegbile is the head of the NAACP legal team and was one of the lawyers who defended the Voting Rights Act before the SCOTUS back in 2009.

The initial reports from the oral arguments are not good and there is a belief that this will be a 5 to 4 decision http://www.scotusblog.com/2013/02/from-the-shelby-county-argument/

Following through on the deep constitutional concerns stated in its prior Northwest Austin decision, a majority of the Court seems committed to invalidating Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and requiring Congress to revisit the formula for requiring preclearance of voting changes. The vote seems quite likely to be five to four. The more liberal members pressed both the narrow argument that an Alabama county was not a proper plaintiff because it inevitably would be covered and the broader argument that there was a sufficient record to justify the current formula. But the more conservative majority was plainly not persuaded by either point. It is unlikely that the Court will write an opinion forbidding a preclearance regime. But it may be difficult politically for Congress to enact a new measure.


Scalia made a very telling comment during oral arguments http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/02/27/1646891/scalia-voting-rights-act-is-perpetuation-of-racial-entitlement/?mobile=nc

There were audible gasps in the Supreme Court’s lawyer’s 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.”


Finally, there is some reporting out today that Chief Justice Roberts has been out to gut the Voting Rights Act for a long time going back to when he was an attorney in the Reagan DOJ. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/john-roberts-long-war-against-voting-rights-act

When he was in his late 20s, John Roberts was a foot soldier in President Ronald Reagan administration's crusade against the Voting Rights Act. Now, as chief justice of the Supreme Court, he will help determine whether a key part of the law survives a constitutional challenge.

Memos that Roberts wrote as a lawyer in Reagan's Justice Department during the 1980s show that he was deeply involved in efforts to curtail the effectiveness of the Voting Rights Act, the hard-won landmark 1965 law that is intended to ensure all Americans can vote. Roberts' anti-VRA efforts during the 1980s ultimately failed. But on Wednesday, when the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, he'll get another chance to gut the law. Roberts' history suggests a crucial part of the VRA may not survive the rematch.

Back in 2009, people were predicting that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act would be held to be unconstitutional. Hopefully the current predictions here will be just as wrong as the predictions in 2009. I also remember the predictions about the Affordable Care Act in the case before the SCOTUS last summer.

Update of SCOTUS oral arguments on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act

The oral arguments for this case occurred this morning. The following persons made the arguments http://www.scotusblog.com/2013/02/argument-preview-the-courts-options-on-voting-rights/
Urging the Court to strike down those provisions will be Bert W. Rein of the Washington, D.C., law firm of Wiley Rein LLP. Dividing time in defense of the law will be the U.S. Solicitor General, Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., with twenty minutes to represent the federal government, and Debo P. Adegbile, an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York City, with ten minutes to represent individual voters and other private defenders of the law.

Mr. Adegbile is the head of the NAACP legal team and was one of the lawyers who defended the Voting Rights Act before the SCOTUS back in 2009.

The initial reports from the oral arguments are not good and there is a belief that this will be a 5 to 4 decision http://www.scotusblog.com/2013/02/from-the-shelby-county-argument/
Following through on the deep constitutional concerns stated in its prior Northwest Austin decision, a majority of the Court seems committed to invalidating Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and requiring Congress to revisit the formula for requiring preclearance of voting changes. The vote seems quite likely to be five to four. The more liberal members pressed both the narrow argument that an Alabama county was not a proper plaintiff because it inevitably would be covered and the broader argument that there was a sufficient record to justify the current formula. But the more conservative majority was plainly not persuaded by either point. It is unlikely that the Court will write an opinion forbidding a preclearance regime. But it may be difficult politically for Congress to enact a new measure.

Scalia made a very telling comment during oral arguments http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/02/27/1646891/scalia-voting-rights-act-is-perpetuation-of-racial-entitlement/?mobile=nc
There were audible gasps in the Supreme Court’s lawyer’s 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.”

Finally, there is some reporting out today that Chief Justice Roberts has been out to gut the Voting Rights Act for a long time going back to when he was an attorney in the Reagan DOJ. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/john-roberts-long-war-against-voting-rights-act
When he was in his late 20s, John Roberts was a foot soldier in President Ronald Reagan administration's crusade against the Voting Rights Act. Now, as chief justice of the Supreme Court, he will help determine whether a key part of the law survives a constitutional challenge.

Memos that Roberts wrote as a lawyer in Reagan's Justice Department during the 1980s show that he was deeply involved in efforts to curtail the effectiveness of the Voting Rights Act, the hard-won landmark 1965 law that is intended to ensure all Americans can vote. Roberts' anti-VRA efforts during the 1980s ultimately failed. But on Wednesday, when the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, he'll get another chance to gut the law. Roberts' history suggests a crucial part of the VRA may not survive the rematch.

Back in 2009, people were predicting that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act would be held to be unconstitutional. Hopefully the current predictions here will be just as wrong as the predictions in 2009. I also remember the predictions about the Affordable Care Act in the case before the SCOTUS last summer.

There is nothing to do now but wait until May or June for the decisions of the SCOTUS on this issue. We may want to start planning on having to deal with SB 14 (the voter id law) to be on the safe side.



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