By Mike Papantonio
I sat through more than a year of Constitutional law classes with our Con Law professor telling the entire class again and again that the beauty of the way that the US Supreme Court operated was that it was not a political process; there were no politics involved. All the decisions were based on precedent, rule of law, and pure stare decisis. About half of the class would smirk and roll their eyes because we understood how goofy it was to ever try to pitch such an idea.
Antonin Scalia and John Roberts just yesterday again showed the world how lame it is to believe that a right wing ideologue, intellectual fraud dressed up in a black robe is anything more than a huckster politico, dressed up in black.
The Voters Rights Act is in big trouble with the visceral, knee-jerk political hustler majority who have already dismantled campaign finance laws and brought suffering to American labor unions, women’s fair pay rights, immigrant’s rights to become citizens, consumer’s rights to protect themselves from being mangled by a corporation’s defective products, and children’s rights to grow up in an America with a clean environment. You name it, if this pathetic, neo-nut majority of Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts had the chance to cause harm and suffering to America’s 99% and reward America’s 1% through political gifts, they always took the opportunity.
This is the 1 Percenter Supreme Court majority that will more than likely strike down one of the most important protection for racial equality in America.
They will strike down the important parts of the VRA, not by using legal precedent or sound analysis, but by drawing on their long life experiences as predatory conservative Republican political hacks who have always delivered for America’s ugliest conservative causes. This is a Supreme Court conservative majority that is always open for business. Not one of the neo-nut (5) majority members would be sitting on the court today if they had not shown decades of willingness to be obedient lap dogs to Republican deal makers.
This time we will see their racist side again – no guess work here.
Alabama argued to them yesterday that, gee whiz, there is no racism in Alabama or anywhere in the South today. These places that just 40 years ago incinerated the bodies of 8-year-old kids by exploding bombs at their churches. Those places that executed voting rights workers, and buried their bodies in shallow graves. Those places that hanged young black men who even attempted to register to vote. Places where police used dogs, water hoses, clubs, tear gas, and live ammunition to stop African Americans and voter demonstrations. Well, according to Alabama’s arguments, all that should be irrelevant. Those are actually their words. All that past history is “irrelevant” because today, Shelby County Alabama is that shining city on a hill, where African Americans have been given the right to share water fountains with Alabama’s white elite, and gee whiz, they can eat in the same restaurants with middle class white people, and Alabama even has a couple of monuments to commemorate all the dead civil rights workers who had to fight for their right to vote in Alabama and Georgia and Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, and Texas. And in some places, they’ve even taken down their confederate flag.
So what’s the big deal? No need for any voters rights laws anymore. Oh yeah, and just ignore the dozens of times that good ole boy Republican governors and legislators tried to keep minorities from voting by of redistricting, or carried out voter role purges, voter ID scams. Ignore their attempts to close polling locations, under-staff polling locations in minority districts. Alabama is a new place – Hell, they sounded like a criminal lifer asking the parole board for a chance to get back out there on the street and commit more crime. Ignore the fact that the federal government has had to use the VRA 260 times when Alabama, Boss Hog-style politicians tried to keep minorities from voting.
And no surprise, Antonin Scalia, that last great bastion of American jurisprudence, actually said in his opening that all voting rights laws do is “perpetuate racial entitlements.” Scalia was saying that we’re giving minorities all the chances they deserve, time to start cutting back. Scalia suggests that it is just fine to ignore the fact that in 2006, Congress unanimously voted to renew the VRA. That vote included the votes of Alabama senators Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby, after they took 20 days of testimony, reviewed thousands of pages of documents that showed how well racism is flourishing in Alabama. Those two Alabama senators had to vote to renew the VRA because they had to admit the truth that some things will never change in the South.
They heard the tapes from an FBI investigation where a group of wealthy Alabama Boss Hogs were talking on the phone as they described the voters in black majority Alabama counties as “illiterate aborigines.” Scalia explained that Senators only voted in 2006 to extend the VRA because they were terrified not to.
And of course there was Scalia’s black hand maiden Clarence Thomas who sat there, dumb and gutless as his entire race was attacked with innuendo and outright distortions of truth by the Alabama bumpkin who stood before the court and said “It’s a new day in the South.”
You could almost hear dueling banjos playing in the background as Banjo Boy made his argument.