CNN: Echoes of Selma



J. Gerald "Gerry" Hebert, an attorney who has argued in defense of the Voting Rights Act for years, says Roberts' appointment to the high court was ominous.

 "He has had distaste for the Voting Rights Act for decades, and he finally got himself in a position to strike it down -- and he did," Hebert says. ...

 The high court's hostility to civil rights in general has forced voting rights attorneys on the defensive, Hebert says.

"The goal is to try to keep cases out of court," he says. ...

"Intentional racism is so hard to prove," says Hebert, the voting rights attorney. "People know if they do use that kind of language it will ultimately doom their plan or legislation. They don't talk in those terms. That's why it's extremely difficult to prove intent. You don't have a lot of smoking guns out there."

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