A key part of the Voting Rights Act went before the Supreme Court Wednesday. The provision known as Section 5 could be in jeopardy after the court’s conservative justices suggested that times have changed.

Section 5 requires nine states, including Texas, to get federal approval before making any changes to their voting laws. The law also applies to parts of seven other states, all of which have a history of infringing on minority voting rights.


Wednesday, some justices suggested the law is outdated. Justice Antonin Scalia called it a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.” Justice Anthony Kennedy, considered a key swing vote, questioned whether Alabama was “under the trusteeship of the United States government.”

Click the image at the bottom to hear more from the court, along with reaction from the Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg about the long-term implications for Texas.

Inching toward compromise

As more and more red-state leaders agree to accept Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, the question of Texas’ possible role persists. Gov. Rick Perry has said there’s no possibility that he’d accept expanded Medicaid rolls in exchange for federal dollars, but some in his own party could be inching toward a compromise.

State Sen. Tommy Williams has written an editorial article (PDF) outlining a path toward Medicaid reform that could be acceptable to Texas lawmakers. He spoke to Capital Tonight’s Paul Brown about what those changes would look like.

Taking notes from Florida

Former Governor Jeb Bush is in Texas this week, talking about public education.
Bush was invited to testify in front of the Senate Education Committee Wednesday, where he touted his state’s reforms as a model for Texas.