Supremes get another racial-discrimination case

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Little-Acorn, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. Little-Acorn
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    Little-Acorn Gold Member

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    A few years ago, the Supreme Court announced that racial discrimination was OK in some forms of school admissions policy, despite the 14th amendment's flat prohibition of any such discrimination. Justice Sandra O'Connor came up with a bizarre interpretation that even included a timetable for phasing out the racial discrimination, though neither the discrimination nor the timetable had any Constitutional foundation whatsoever. Her attempts at judicial legislation are joined by those of Justice Ginsburg, who wonders if it is "safe" to get rid of racial discrimination while ignoring that it is Constitutionally required.

    Now O'Connor is gone, replaced by Samuel Alito, who has shown little tendencey to use the law to "improve" society in ways that he might think are nice. Alito clings to the antiquated view that it's the legislature's job to make law to improve society, not the court's.

    Should be interesting to see how these new cases come out... and whether the case from a few years ago, gets re-heard.

    Probably the best part of George W. Bush's checkered legacy, will be the appointment of two law-abiding judges to the Supreme Court, and many more such to lower courts. We are starting to feel the effects already.

    -------------------------------------

    http://OpinionJournal.com

    from "Best of the Web Today"
    By JAMES TARANTO

    Dec. 5, 2006

    How 'Integration' Became Discrimination

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/05/w...00&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all

    The New York Times reports on an important case the Supreme Court heard yesterday:

    *** QUOTE ***

    By the time the Supreme Court finished hearing arguments on Monday on the student-assignment plans that two urban school systems use to maintain racial integration, the only question was how far the court would go in ruling such plans unconstitutional.

    There seemed little prospect that either the Louisville, Ky., or Seattle plans would survive the hostile scrutiny of the court's new majority. In each system, students are offered a choice of schools but can be denied admission based on their race if enrolling at a particular school would upset the racial balance.

    At its most profound, the debate among the justices was over whether measures designed to maintain or achieve integration should be subjected to the same harsh scrutiny to which Brown v. Board of Education subjected the regime of official segregation. In the view of the conservative majority, the answer was yes.

    *** END QUOTE ***

    But liberal justices disagreed:

    *** QUOTE ***

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg tried unsuccessfully to turn the chief justice's colloquy with [Seattle lawyer Michael] Madden in a different direction. The question of whether "using racial integration is the same as segregation," she said, was "pretty far from the kind of headlines that attended the Brown decision."

    Bringing "white and black children together on the same school bench," Justice Ginsburg continued, "seems to be worlds apart from saying we'll separate them."

    *** END QUOTE ***

    The fundamental dispute is whether antidiscrimination laws--the 14th Amendment and, by implication, the Civil Rights Act of 1964--ban discrimination altogether, or only in the pursuit of invidious ends. Broadly stated, the "conservative" position is that these laws protect individuals from discrimination, whereas the "liberal" position is that discrimination is fine in the pursuit of "diversity" or integration but not of white supremacy.

    Liberals, in other words, are much more apt to say that the ends justify the means. As Justice Harry Blackmun wrote in University of California v. Bakke
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=438&invol=265 , "In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. . . . And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently."

    That was in 1978. Twenty-five years later, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, in Grutter v. Bollinger http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=US&navby=case&vol=000&invol=02-241 , upheld some racial discrimination in higher education, but wrote that she expects the need for them to have passed in another 25 years. Justice Ginsburg made a point of disagreeing, saying that one may only "hope" that it will be "safe to sunset affirmative action."

    There is a curious disconnect here. "Affirmative action" is politically unpopular, having been banned by initiative in three liberal states (California, Michigan and Washington). With Justice Samuel Alito having replaced O'Connor, its legal status is shaky.
     
  2. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    The exchange between Bryer and Scalia was something to behold! Talk about rapier words, Scalia rocks! Which of course, the NY Times leaves out in toto:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/05/w...00&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all
     
  3. Little-Acorn
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    Little-Acorn Gold Member

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    Where can we find text or a copy of that exchange?
     
  4. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I've been looking, no luck so far. I heard a tape of their exchanges. My guess, Thomas or findlaw will have it up first.
     
  5. flaja
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    flaja Member

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    I fully support the intended goal of the Brown decision. Racial discrimination is morally wrong even if it is part and parcel of human nature.

    However, the root cause of the problems that made the Brown decision necessary cannot be addressed by the Court and were not rectifiable by the Court’s solution, i.e., forced busing. Jim Crow laws were only part of the school segregation problem. Segregated neighborhoods had as much to do with segregated schools as legal racial discrimination did.

    As for the Court’s solution: any benefit gained by integration was lost by the physical effects of busing and the destruction of our neighborhoods (your local elementary school should function as a social/political hub of your neighborhood, but this is made impossible when students and their families have no other connection to the neighborhood where the children attend school.
     
  6. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    Yeah, forced integration is much better.:rolleyes:
     
  7. flaja
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    flaja Member

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    When it comes in the form of things like fair housing laws (buying rather than renting), yes. Of course this is something that bigots cannot understand.
     
  8. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    How about housing based on what you can get off your fat ass and earn? Yeah, I AM a bigot against lazy freakin' people sitting around sponging off taxpayers dollars, but I really don't give-a-damn WHAT color they are, where they come from, nor who their mommies are.

    Forcing people to racially integrate just to prove the government is not biased is absolute bullshit. It's just like your stupid idea for mass transportation ..... I'll choose who I socialize with, and I don't need you nor the government trying to choose for me.
     
  9. Yurt
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    Yurt Gold Member

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    This is such BS. It makes me ashamed of the legal profession... at times, other than that, it is a good profession.

    I had a prof who, on MLK day, made us listen to a guest speaker talk about the upcoming Michigan U case and how blacks should be given preference. We had no choice, if we left, we got an absence, which you only got four a semester. So we were basically forced to listen to this, oh, and no prior notice, ie, you could not plan your absences around this.

    Only one guy got up and left. And older fellow, he actually stood up and said this is crap, if the prof wants to push his political agenda, it should not be force on us, and then he left. 120 students, 119 were too chicken to leave. Why? Because we would be called racists.

    The laws on race are sketchy at best. If you can show certain things that prove that this party/company/whatever, has a history of racism and knows and intends that racism, then can you make race a factor because it rectifies it. Not here to argue that though.

    In this case, it has no merit. There is no forced racism, there is no intent. If it comes down to neighborhoods as one poster above mentioned, that is economic discrimination, not racial. Economic gets the very minimal scrutiny. Yeah, I am going to the courts right now and argue that because I grew up in downtown San Diego that I was prejudiced because my junior high had the second highest F's in the whole county and because of that they had to decrease the academic standards just to pass us. Where is my right to sue? Whites made up only 20% of that school. Where is my right to sue?

    I won't. Because it was simply economics. And, I never used that as a crutch.

    Amazing.


    off rant....
     
  10. flaja
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    flaja Member

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    It doesn’t matter how much a black person (or a Jew, Hispanic et cetera) can earn if the laws are made in such a way that they cannot legally buy a house in certain neighborhoods or if land owners refuse to sell to them. To this day there are certain neighborhoods where I live that have real estate agents who refuse to show a house to black people because they know if they do their career in real estate will be over because the neighborhoods they work in are still full of bigots.
     

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