Aw. You didn’t need three.
From the Washington Post:
Civil rights activists had braced themselves for the conservative majority on the court to find Section 5 unconstitutional. But the court refused to do that on an 8-1 vote with only Justice Clarence Thomas, the court’s only African American member, going that far. He said that “punishment for long past sins is not a legitimate basis” for imposing the act’s toughest restrictions on mostly Southern states.
Justices were ruling on the constitutionality of Section Five of the act which several states, mostly Southern, as well as several voting districts in other states, are named in the act to have their elections monitored for possible suppression and/or discrimination. Some have argued that it is unfair to single out these states and municipalities 40 years after the Civil Rights Movement. Others have argued it is still needed as voter intimidation is a problem in some areas.
What was surprising was that such a conservative court voted so overwhelmingly to leave Section Five almost as is. (But they did rule that these areas should be able to prove they don’t discriminate.) This was especially surprising considering Justice John Roberts had once argued against the legality of parts of the Voting Rights Act when congress renewed it.
But Justice Clarence Thomas dissention shouldn’t be a surprised to any one. I’m more shocked that Justice Antonin Scalia, strict constitutionalist, was part of the eight than Thomas being the voice against Section Five.