Inside the courtroom, however, there was evidence justices are ready to ignore Pelosi's pleas.
During questioning Wednesday, the five conservative justices hinted strongly at striking down Section 5 of the law, which bars nine states — most in the South — from changing their voting procedures without prior federal approval.
"Is it the government's submission that the citizens in the South are more racist than the citizens in the North?" Chief Justice John Roberts asked. Justice Antonin Scalia, another conservative, piled on, arguing that Congress is an unreliable judge of whether Section 5 remains a necessary protection almost 50 years after the law was enacted. He said lawmakers' continued support for the provision was a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”
For more on Pelosi's comments, click here.