Monday, May 18, 2009

Chief Justice Roberts and the Canyon Creek VRA case

The bio review of Chief Justice John Roberts, marks him clearly as a Justice on the Right side of the issues, and describes an exchange in "Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder", decribed in the article as "a critical case about the future of the Voting Rights Act."

According to Katyal, the fact that the Justice Department cleared almost all electoral changes proved, in effect, that the South had been trained, if not totally reformed.

Roberts removed his glasses and stared down at Katyal. “That’s like the old elephant whistle,” he said. “You know, ‘I have this whistle to keep away the elephants.’ You know, well, that’s silly. ‘Well, there are no elephants, so it must work.’ ”

Roberts was relentless in challenging Katyal: “So your answer is that Congress can impose this disparate treatment forever because of the history in the South?”
Absolutely not,” Katyal said.

“When can they—when do they have to stop?”

“Congress here said that twenty-five years was the appropriate reauthorization period.”

“Well, they said five years originally, and then another twenty years,” Roberts said, referring to previous reauthorizations of the act. “I mean, at some point it begins to look like the idea is that this is going to go on forever.”

Let's just mark Chief Justice Roberts as skeptical of discriminating against the South on voting rights rules on behalf of anti-discrimination.

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