Conservatives on the Supreme Court

Friday, February 4, 2011; 7:41 PM

According to staff writer Spencer Hsu, "Chief Justice John G. Roberts, writing for the panel's ascendant conservative majority" in 2009, "signaled a willingness to entertain future challenges" to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ["Taking aim at Voting Rights Act," the Fed Page, Feb. 3].

The opinion to which Hsu referred, Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder, was an 8 to 1 decision of the Supreme Court. The sole dissenter was Justice Clarence Thomas - whom I believe The Post has, on occasion, referred to as conservative - who concluded that the provision was unconstitutional.

It was not an "ascendant conservative majority," then, that expressed doubts about Congress's continuing power to treat particular jurisdictions as wayward children. It was every member of the court.

Michael E. Rosman, Bethesda

The writer is an attorney representing other plaintiffs challenging Section 5.

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