March 1, 2013

Mass. official blasts Supreme Court's chief justice

He called on Chief Justice John Roberts to provide any data that backs up his statement about voters in Massachusetts.

The Associated Press

BOSTON — The Massachusetts secretary of state says he is "calling out" the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court for what he calls "deceptive" and "disturbing" remarks about minority voting rates in the state.

click image to enlarge

In this Oct. 8, 2010 file photo, Chief Justice John G. Roberts.


Chief Justice John Roberts made the statements as the high court heard arguments over the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Roberts asked Solicitor General Donald Verilli if he knew which state has the worst ratio of white voter turnout to African-American voter turnout. Roberts said it was Massachusetts. Roberts later said Massachusetts also had the greatest disparity in registration.

Secretary of State William Galvin, who oversees elections, on Thursday told The Boston Globe that Roberts was wrong and called his comments a "cheap shot."

A Supreme Court spokeswoman refused to offer supporting evidence of Roberts' comments.

Galvin said the only way Roberts could have reached the conclusion is if he included minorities living in Massachusetts who are not citizens. Non-citizens aren't eligible to vote.

He called on Roberts to amend what he said or point to the data he was using.

"I think the record should be corrected," Galvin said. "He should at least indicate what he's relying on to make that statement."


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