Did Scalia Really Say That He Was “White and Proud?”

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A Seattle Post Intelligencer Editorial

.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who startled colleagues this week with a reference to “racial entitlements,”  displays the same mindset as segregationist U.S. senators did when they fought civil rights legislation in the 1950s and 1960s, a powerful congressman and movement veteran said Friday.

The reference, as the high court heard a legal challenge to the 1965 Voting Rights Act, “absolutely shocked” South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, a senior member of the Democratic House leadership, he told Huffington Post in an interview.

“I’m not easily surprised by anything, but that took me to a place I haven’t been in a long time,” Clyburn said of Scalia’s words from the bench.  “What Justice Scalia said, to me, was ‘The 15th Amendment of the Constitution ain’t got no concerns for me because I’m white and proud.'”

Scalia appeared scornful toward the landmark Voting Rights Act, which was renewed as recently as 2006 by a 99-0 vote of the U.S. Senate.  He argued that lawmakers are afraid of the consequences of voting against it.  “Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it’s very difficult to get out of them through normal political processes,” said the long-serving Supreme Court justice.

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