The Supreme Court signaled strongly on Wednesday that it might strike down a section of the Voting Rights Act as the court’s conservative members cast the provision as outdated and unfair.
With a crowd of congressional Democrats and civil rights icons gathered outside, the court heard oral arguments over Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires certain states and counties to get permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.
The court’s conservative justices appeared deeply skeptical of the argument that Section 5 is still relevant and, if not, whether leaving it in place is constitutional.
Justice Antonin Scalia argued that Congress could not be trusted to properly evaluate the current need for Section 5. He said the repeated reauthorizations of the law seemed to be an example of “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”