Conservative television personality Sean Hannity clashed last night with liberal commentator Juan Williams over a controversial Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday that found that a key provision in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is no longer pertinent. While the “Hannity” host sided with the court’s majority, Williams disagreed with the justices, leading to a spirited back-and-forth that’s worth watching.
The liberal commentator argued that there’s still a need for voter protection laws and that the decision ignores this reality.
“The fact is just in the last election, […] the preclearance provision of the Voting Rights Act was used by the Justice Department, by the federal government to go into Texas and say that the way the state had been gerrymandering in terms of Congressional districts depressed the Latino vote,” he said.
Hannity, though, noted that both sides of the aisle have engaged in questionable tactics — a sentiment that Williams agreed with. But contemporary gerrymandering, Williams argued, is based on “racial politics to keep the powerful in power.”
The two also clashed over the 2008 New Black Panthers voter intimidation case, with Hannity decrying the incident and with Williams dismissing it as an event that didn’t lead to any real intimidation. Comparing this incident to current attempts to suppress voters, the commentator said, is nonsensical.
“Do you think in 1965 Barack Obama, a black American could be elected president?,” Hannity asked during the tense exchange, with Williams responding “of course not.”
This gave Hannity the opening to drive home his point that “the world’s changed” and that the Supreme Court was merely acknowledging this dynamic with its decision yesterday.
Conservative commentator Eric Rush also participated in the discussion, openly agreeing with the Supreme Court’s decision.
Watch the heated debate, below:
(H/T: Fox News Insider)