Scalia: Voting Rights Act is a ‘racial preferment’

Updated
File Photo: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks at the University of Wyoming in Laramie Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Passing through Laramie after...
File Photo: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks at the University of Wyoming in Laramie Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Passing through Laramie after...
Ben Neary/AP Photo/File

It looks like Justice Antonin Scalia has no regrets about the racially charged language he used to describe the Voting Rights Act during a recent Supreme Court hearing. Because he just doubled down on it.

In a speech to students at the University of California Washington Center Wednesday night, the conservative jurist called Section 5 of the law an “embedded” form of “racial preferment.” The line echoed Scalia’s now notorious comment in February that Congress’s decision to reauthorize the landmark civil rights law was a “perpetuation of  a racial entitlement.”

The latter remark came during oral arguments in a challenge to the constitutionality of Section 5. The court is expected to announce its ruling in the case in June.

Section 5, which many voting rights advocates see as the heart of the Voting Rights Act, requires that certain states and counties with a history of racial discrimination get federal approval before making even minor changes to their voting systems, to ensure the changes don’t reduce minority voting power.

Scalia’s comments Wednesday night were reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Scalia: Voting Rights Act is a 'racial preferment'

Updated