Race Discrimination Loses at the Supreme Court
"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."
By Dan McLaughlin Posted in The Courts — Comments (31) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
A divided 4-4-1 Supreme Court did little today to put an end to legal wrangling over race-consciousness in education, although Justice Kennedy continued his pattern of finding against racial preferences and other race-conscious programs, while leaving open the door to the idea that such programs could in some circumstances be justified. The Court's opinions are long and numerous, and I haven't had time to digest them yet, but I have to give a tip of the hat here to Chief Justice Roberts for his plurality opinion that cuts straight to the heart of the issue:
To the extent the objective is sufficient diversity so that students see fellow students as individuals rather than solely as members of a racial group, using means that treat students solely as members of a racial group is fundamentally at cross-purposes with that end.
What do the racial classifications do in these cases, if not determine admission to a public school on a racial basis? Before Brown, schoolchildren were told where they could and could not go to school based on the color of their skin. The school districts in these cases have not carried the heavy burden of demonstrating that we should allow this once again—even for very different reasons. For schools that never segregated on the basis of race, such as Seattle, or that have removed the vestiges of past segregation, such as Jefferson County, the way "to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis," . . . is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Ain't that the truth.