Scalia, perhaps incensed after viewing the movie Lincoln, attacked the Voting Rights Act at today's oral argument on the continued validity of section 5 of the VRA. Which requires certain states and political subdivisions to obtain preclearance for changes in voting laws.
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.”http://thinkprogress.org/...
The law was passed in 1965 in response to the southern states' policy of racial apartheid, which included throwing up obstacles preventing African-Americans from voting. That is when the right to vote was a "racial entitlement." Only whites were entitled to vote.
John Roberts also asked, "Are citizens in the South more racist than citizens not in the South?" Sorry, CJ, not the issue. Only the south had legal apartheid has recently as less than 50 years ago.
As for complaints that the VRA was aimed at the states, Justice Breyer quipped: "Of course [section 5] was aimed at states, what do you think the Civil War was about?"
Which gets us back to history. But the con majority only believes history before the 19th century is relevant.