Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 28, 2007

ANOTHER 5-4 RULING....It's been a discouraging week at the Supreme Court. Over the last four days, there have been five major decisions, all of them 5-4 rulings, all of them victories for conservatives, and all of them backed by the same five-member majority (Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy).

Today's ruling on school racial integration was probably the most disappointing of all.

Concluding its current Term with a historic ruling on race in public policy, the Supreme Court divided 5-4 on Thursday in striking down voluntary integration plans in the public schools of Seattle and Louisville. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., wrote the majority opinion in the combined cases. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy did not join all of the majority opinion, but joined in the result. Kennedy suggested in a separate opinion that the Chief Justice's opinion, in part, "is at least open to the interpretation that the Constitution requires school districts to ignore the problem of de facto resegregation in schooling. I cannot endorse that conclusion."

"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race," Roberts wrote. On the two school plans, the majority found that the districts have "failed to provide the necessary support for the proposition that there is no other way than individual racial classifications to avoid racial isolation in their school districts."

The Chief Justice, in his oral announcement of the ruling, insisted that the Court was remaining faithful to Brown v. Board of Education in barring public school districts from assigning students on the basis of race. Answering that, Justice John Paul Stevens said in dissent that there was a "cruel irony" in making that claim, because it involved a rewriting of the history "of one of this Court's most important decisions." Stevens noted that he joined the Court in 1975, and asserted that "no member of the Court" at that time "would have agreed with today's decision."

Stevens' and Breyer's dissents (.pdf) are both worth reading. Their disdain for the majority is palpable.

Ultimately, of the five controversial rulings this week, Roberts wrote the majority opinion in three, and Alito wrote the other two.

I guess it's one of those elections-have-consequences moments, isn't it?

Steve Benen 1:21 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (133)

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Comments

I guess it's one of those elections-have-consequences moments, isn't it?

And don't forget to thank the Nader supporters for helping make all of this possible.

Posted by: bob on June 28, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Bob, I was just going to say: "But those Nadarites tell me those no difference between democrats and republicans."

Morons.

I hope Justice Stevens eats his veggies and has a great doctor. We need him to tick around for at least two more years.

Posted by: jeffg on June 28, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

actually, there was a 5-4 with a "liberal" result.

Posted by: Nathan on June 28, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

actually, there was a 5-4 with a "liberal" result.

Posted by: Nathan on June 28, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

actually, there was a 5-4 with a "liberal" result.

Posted by: Nathan on June 28, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

You should also look at the anti-trust ruling, which just about gutted Section 1 of the Sherman Act. The Court ruled that companies can co-operate to fix prices "if the agreements foster competition." It used to be that fixing prices was per se illegal. Now the Court goes to a case-by-case basis.

Having found scope to go to case-by-case, do you think THIS Court will ever find for the conumer? This is a VERY far-reaching ruling that could affect businesses and consumers for decades.

Posted by: Sunlight on June 28, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Well, hell Kevin. Nothing we can do about it except maybe kick Kerry's and Shrum's asses for running such an inept campaign (and while we are at it, knee cap Nader for 2000).

It's gonna happen, we need to live with the results and hopefully be in charge in about eight to ten years when I think the next multiple vacancies will occur.

Posted by: Keith G on June 28, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

If the right can make these types of statements why not me? We need a real life Pelican Brief scenerio.

Posted by: jg on June 28, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

This was a good decision legally and Constituionally. It's also good public policy. Affirmative action was necessary and appropriate to help end Jim Crow. It succeeded. Black children are no longer sent to under-funded schools. Black job applicants are treated no worse than others. Black appolicasts to college are treated better than other races.

Race-based governmental decision-making was like chemo-therapy for cancer. Poisonous chemicals are necessary to kill the cancer, but the chemotherapy isn't generally beneficial. Chemotherapy should be ended once it's no longer needed to fight the cancer.

Race-based policies are a poison. We needed that poison to fight the illness of Jim Crow. But, we shouldn't keep taking the poison indefinitely.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 28, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Concluding its current Term with a historic ruling on race in public policy, the Supreme Court divided 5-4 on Thursday in striking down voluntary integration plans in the public schools of Seattle and Louisville.

[snip]

"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race," Roberts wrote.

Right, 'cause voluntary integration plans are the same thing as racism, right?

Once again, the only argument conservatives have is ignorance. They have to pretend segregation and desegregation are the same thing, just as they pretended that employees have to file in a timely fashion on information they are not allowed to file.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on June 28, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Black children are no longer sent to under-funded schools. Black job applicants are treated no worse than others. Black appolicasts to college are treated better than other races.

What planet are you living on? Here in the real world, black children still attend under-funded schools. In the real world, black job applicants are routinely passed over.

The only difference is that we now say that everyone is treated the same ... without actually doing it. You can salve your conscience by saying, "Well, they're not going to officially segregated schools anymore," but if schools in minority areas are routinely underfunded (and they are), then making them officially not segregated didn't do jack shit, did it?

Posted by: Mnemosyne on June 28, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Kennedy has really come out of the closet. Now that he can be part of a solid majority block he doesn't have to pretend to be a moderate any more.

Posted by: Bloix on June 28, 2007 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Elections have consequences, yes. But so does spinelessness. If you like this week's rulings, be sure to send a thank-you note to the 19 Dems who voted against cloture on Alito's nomination. (Special thanks go to the members of the "Gang of 14", in italics.)

Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Carper (D-DE)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lieberman (D-CT)

Lincoln (D-AR)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)

Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)

Posted by: Glenn on June 28, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, I meant voted for cloture, of course.

Posted by: Glenn on June 28, 2007 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Today's ruling on school racial integration was probably the most disappointing of all.

How is it disappointing? It's eliminating the last vestiges of racial discrimination in public schools, which as usual is caused by liberals. It's fulfilling the dream of Brown v Board of Education. If Martin Luther King was alive today, he'd be standing side by side with Chief Justice John Roberts praising him for his monumental civil rights division in eliminating racism.

Posted by: Al on June 28, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

America -- Love it Or Leave It, right, mhr?

Posted by: Glenn on June 28, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's just me, but doesn't this ruling suggest support of Plessy v. Ferguson (Separate but equal is legal) rather than Brown v. Board of Ed.?

Viva Plessy, I suppose,
-Z

Posted by: Adam on June 28, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Al baby,

I am inclined to feel that if Martin Luther King was alive today, he would be pointing out that students of color routinely attend older and and less well financed schools than white children do.

Posted by: Keith G on June 28, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

When activist liberal judges undertook to carry water for Democrats beginning in the 1960's a great many of the Supreme Court's decisions were 5-4. So what's your problem?

Stare decisis. So what's your point?
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on June 28, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

It's eliminating the last vestiges of racial discrimination in public schools, which as usual is caused by liberals.

Uh, do we need to explain the meaning of "voluntary program"?
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on June 28, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, swell...Nathan's, ah, singular legal opinion in triplicate.

"ex-liberal," your defense of this decisions says a lot about you, and not just that you like to make unsiourced assertions. Not the least of which, it undermines your earlier bullshit claime to "liberal" credentials for having favored civil rights. You really get a sick thrill out of posting insultingly inflammatory neocon bullshit here, don't you? Shame on you.

Posted by: Gregory on June 28, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Affirmative action was necessary and appropriate to help end Jim Crow. It succeeded. Black children are no longer sent to under-funded schools. Black job applicants are treated no worse than others. Black appolicasts to college are treated better than other races.

Typical conservatism: "we have stopped the injustice because we say we have." Except hearts and minds are not won so easily, as we've learned in Iraq. You can't simply trust people to do the right thing, when evidence exists that the wrong thing is being done if allowed. Do you think the Texaco (I believe it was Texaco, I may be wrong) executive who called his black employees "little black jellybeans" was hiring fairly on the basis of race? As long as people like that are still in power, shouldn't we have laws to make sure they do?

The quoted line from Roberts' opinion is especially moronic in this regard. I suppose his plan is to go up to every KKK member and shout, "stop discriminating!" in their faces? If not, then what exactly does he plan to do to make sure a person who thinks like that doesn't get placed in charge of a school?

Posted by: mmy on June 28, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Let's face it -- the Supremes are going to do everything in their power to reverse every single civil rights, social justice and environmental decision the court has made over the past 40 years.

That's just how the GOP rolls: Screw the minorities, screw individual freedoms, and screw the earth. All of them get in the way of profits!

Oh, and if I'm moving anywhere else, mhr, the Netherlands would be my first choice.

Posted by: Mark D on June 28, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

What a day. Need kitties?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 28, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Where are the heartfelt bleatings from the Usual Suspects about "activist judges" now?

I guess right-minded activist judges=GOOD. Fire still BAD?

Posted by: Trollhattan on June 28, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Black children are no longer sent to under-funded schools.,

ex-liberal, what the hell kind of utopian city do you live in? Does the phrase "inner city" mean anything to you?

Posted by: Constance Reader on June 28, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Stare decisis. So what's your point?

Stare decisis? Umm,hmm. You mean like the stare decisis the liberals showed in Lawrence?

Let's go on and bag that shibboleth. Nobody believes in it.

Posted by: Paul on June 28, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

I find it amusing that conservatives only have a problem with activist judges when they work towards liberal ends. Clearly, the Roberts court is developing to be one of the more activist courts- towards conservative ends- in the history of the US.

What next, revisit Dred Scot?
-Z

Posted by: Adam on June 28, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: "Black children are no longer sent to under-funded schools. Black job applicants are treated no worse than others. Black appolicasts to college are treated better than other races."

Yikes.

If willful ignorance could be measured in a quantifiable manner like, say, in kilowatts, ex-liberal would be the equivalent of the Las Vegas Strip at midnight.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 28, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

One solution would be to focus upon economic inequality. Since various minorities tend disproportionately also to be economically disadvantaged, they would therefore tend disproportionately to benefit from such programs. Nevertheless, such programs would also benefit poor whites, who too often have been overlooked by various affirmative action programs. Furthermore, the specific targeting toward those who are economically disadvantaged would rebut any allegations that these programs are "elitist."

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on June 28, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

It's been a heckuva good week at the Supreme Court - except for the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case. Five outta six ain't bad.

Posted by: Brian on June 28, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Elections have consequences...

Elections, or whatever it is you call that thing that happened in 2000. Considering that the present gang of thugs in the Supreme Court are likely to be around for the next 20 years, I conclude that Bush becoming President will be considered the greatest disaster to befall the United States since World War II. By almost any measure, this has been a disaster: trillions of dollars squandered, the environment trashed, civil liberties squashed, unprecedented increases in inequality, unprecedent increase in the federal deficit, the wars, the lives lost, the trashing of international diplomatic relations, the loss of respect for the United States throughout the world, the encouragement of anti-US forces throughout the world. You'd almost guess that Bush and Cheney had a secret plan to destroy the US...

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on June 28, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Sunlight. The pro-price-fixing ruling was a classic example of judicial overreach into an area that should be dealt with legislatively. F-ing wingnut judicial activists.

Posted by: Disputo on June 28, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Great news.

This was sorely needed victory. Now this might help our children go back to learning not on the basis of race.

Posted by: egbert on June 28, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

One solution would be to focus upon economic inequality. But that would be welfare, and all the little republican piggies would cry wee wee wee all the way home.

Posted by: tomeck on June 28, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Need kitties?

Thank you, BG,RS, I needed that laugh so badly!

Posted by: Constance Reader on June 28, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Now this might help our children go back to learning not on the basis of race.

Great, so they can learn ont on the basis of grammar on you apparently did.

Posted by: tomeck on June 28, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

My bad, only one "On the" was necessary.

Posted by: tomeck on June 28, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

I thought you were just mocking scrambled egberts organic stupidity.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 28, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Constance Reader: Does the phrase "inner city" mean anything to you?

How does the per pupil spending in the inner city section of New York City compare with the rest of the city? AFAIK it's no lower. I suppose there might be average per pupil spending statistics nationwide by race. That would answer the question more definitively.

I have been chewed out by my boss for failing to hire a black. He had told me to get a "minority"; the Asian woman I hired didn't satisfy him. He wanted an African American.

Many colleges give substantial preference to black applicants. At many universities, average SAT scores for black students are often 100 or 150 points lower than for white and Asian students.

There's still some ongoing discrimination against blacks, but it's a tiny percentage of what it used to be. And, it's more-or-less offset by the advantages blacks have in college admissions and employment.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 28, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Many colleges give substantial preference to black applicants. At many universities, average SAT scores for black students are often 100 or 150 points lower than for white and Asian students."

The only way to fight against racism is more racism.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 28, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

It is one of those elections have consequences moments. Why the heck did I vote for Ken Salazar?

Posted by: mark on June 28, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

"Right, 'cause voluntary integration plans are the same thing as racism, right?"

If it were voluntary, then why did the plaintiff need to sue in the first place?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 28, 2007 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Black appolicasts to college are treated better than other races."

Not really, even though black applicants are given preferrence, their enrollment numbers are still below the national average. They are obviously not treated better enough.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 28, 2007 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Can members of Supreme Court be impeached or otherwise run out of town on a rail? Under what circumstances?

Posted by: slanted tom on June 28, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Supreme Court justices can, and have, been impeached. Never actually convicted, though, far as I know. But Abe Fortas was basically run off the court by the threat of impeachment.

Posted by: Glenn on June 28, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

I thought you were just mocking scrambled egberts organic stupidity. No, I was so angry at it I was typing cross-eyed.

Posted by: tomeck on June 28, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

You are never gonna get anywhere in politics fessin' up like that, you know...

Now - can you imagine the treatment Norman would have given it, spinning how he meant to say it that way and liberals are too stupid to get it...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 28, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

There's still some ongoing discrimination against blacks, but it's a tiny percentage of what it used to be.

If by that you mean we don't lynch them anymore, well, I guess you're right.

Your answer to Constance is more smoke and mirrors. Compare spending per pupil between inner city districts and suburban districts. Compare how much inner city district money has to be spent on things like free lunch and other effects of poverty, instead of education. Compare physical plants of inner city schools vs. suburban schools. Compare lab equipment of inner city schools vs. suburban schools.

Jim Crow is alive and well, ex-lib, we've just changed his name.

Posted by: tomeck on June 28, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

These five justices are catholics, right?

Didn't they rule the other day that there was no conflict between church and state, to give federal funding to churches, or something like that?

So now they have done away with integration.

It seems that they are, in essence, trying to set up churches, including catholic churches, to be the future educators of our children.

Posted by: given on June 28, 2007 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

I have been chewed out by my boss for failing to hire a black. He had told me to get a "minority"; the Asian woman I hired didn't satisfy him. He wanted an African American.

You numbskull. I have been "the boss" and I know of what you speak.

I will tell you how to get around these issues--you get yourself a pass to Foxwoods Casino. Are you following me?

You go for a drive out to Foxwoods. Do NOT gamble. It is a racket. You meet some of the most "Native American" fellows who may or may not be around. Do not talk to any of the ones wearing suits. They are Federal marshalls.

You "hire" several of these fellows and you get their information. You put them down as your minority hires, and you pay them a lump salary. Keep the records looking good, bring them in once and a while to cover your tracks, maybe write a glowing evaluation of the "work" (yuk!) that they are doing for your firm.

Most importantly--you better have people in your human resources department that you can control. Failure to do that can lead to "issues."

Now, mum's the word.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 28, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

I'm increasingly convinced that there may be a pressing need to expand the size of the Supreme Court to 13 members (giving each supervisory responsibility for one of the circuit courts) effective sometime in late January of 2009.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 28, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, do we need to explain the meaning of "voluntary program"?


That sounds like a good idea to me. In what sense was it voluntary?

Posted by: dennisBoz on June 28, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Dicely. Yes! I have been making the argument that nine is not a proscribed number for a while now. Sometimes on these very threads!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 28, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

I'm increasingly convinced that there may be a pressing need to expand the size of the Supreme Court to 13 members (giving each supervisory responsibility for one of the circuit courts) effective sometime in late January of 2009.

Good luck with that one, Franklin D Roose-dicely.

With any luck, the Roberts court will completely reverse fifty years of liberalism run amok.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 28, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Yes! I have been making the argument that nine is not a proscribed number for a while now. Sometimes on these very threads!

And the Hormonal Citizen puts on her Eleanor Roosevent buck teeth and her green muu-muu and steps into the spotlight.

Bra-vo...

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 28, 2007 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

I can't picture increasing the Supreme Court, but I can picture increasing the size of the Senate, which I think is more practical.

Posted by: cld on June 28, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen,

In what way were the programs "voluntary"? If they were voluntary, then who had standing to file the suit in the first place?

Posted by: Yancey Ward on June 28, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Norman

Are you 15 years old or do you just act like it?

Posted by: tomeck on June 28, 2007 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK
ex-lax would be the equivalent of the Las Vegas Strip at midnight. Donald from Hawaii at 2:24 PM
Gotta agree. That is one of the stupidest remarks ever.
....Many colleges give substantial preference to black applicants..... ex-lax at 2:55 PM
On the contrary, such preferences have been removed by the Supreme Court already. Clarance Thomas, after getting the benefits of affirmative action all his career, enjoys shutting the door on other, more deserving, individuals.
actually, there was a 5-4 with a "liberal" result.Nathan at 1:29 PM
You can say it three times, but that still doesn't make it true. Not executing the retarded is not only a Christian/humanist position, it's also the civilized and conservative/liberal one. The vote from Thomas, Scali to, Alito, Roberts shows they are neither Christian nor civilized.
.... Eleanor Roosevent buck teeth and her green muu-muu .... Norman Rogers at 4:00 PM
You'd best stick with your princess in half a pants suit Posted by: Mike on June 28, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Leonard Pitts had an interesting column the other day about how the nation is really slowly becoming more and more liberal, and yet, thanks to the Cheney Administration and its appointees to the Supreme Court, you can expect to see a bigger and bigger disconnect between the American people and the highest court in the land. I would laugh, if it weren't so tragic.

Posted by: Trent on June 28, 2007 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

School vouchers will solve these problems. Positive discrimination is still discrimination.

Posted by: Don on June 28, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

"On the contrary, such preferences have been removed by the Supreme Court already"

On the contrary, such preferences were upheld by the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Sandy O. on June 28, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Norm's a slumlord, if anyone needs to know.

He's left traces of himself all over the internet.

Posted by: cld on June 28, 2007 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Good luck with that one, Franklin D Roose-dicely.

What you forget, Norm, is that FDR lost the battle but won the war. His court-packing scheme was rejected but the threat caused the Supreme Court to reverse direction and support the New Deal.

I think cm's onto something interesting here. But the Dems would have to get a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate to make it a credible threat. Possible, but unfortunately I think unlikely.

Posted by: Glenn on June 28, 2007 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Elections have consequences, yes. But so does spinelessness. If you like this week's rulings, be sure to send a thank-you note to the 19 Dems who voted [for] cloture on Alito's nomination.

Apparently, you missed Kevin's post complaining about "obstructionism" in the Senate. Or is it only obstructionism when Republicans do it?

Posted by: rnc on June 28, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and Blue Girl/Red State, too.

Posted by: Glenn on June 28, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently, you missed Kevin's post complaining about "obstructionism" in the Senate. Or is it only obstructionism when Republicans do it?

Apparently, you have mistaken me for Kevin. Kevin's entitled to his opinion. I for one have no problem with obstructionism, and I would have gladly had the Dems be "obstructionist" on the Alito nomination.

I do have a problem with obstructionists who won't take responsibility for their actions, however. The GOP is responsible for killing the immigration bill, they should say so proudly. But they won't, and our Broderite media won't either, tut-tutting it as "partisanship."

Posted by: Glenn on June 28, 2007 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Voluntary." Right. And so the white kids in the school district could have opted out of this voluntary program? Voluntary means that the school board chose it, not that parents could skip it.

This program summed up people using various formulas and then used race as a tie-breaker. How does that not offend people? Race wasn't just "a" factor; it was used to tip the scale in favor of minorities. The categories, BTW, for this final tie-breaker were "white" and "non-white." Sounds pretty progressive to me!

Posted by: torrentprime on June 28, 2007 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

To add, I was using the immigration bill as one recent example. There's lots of good bills being killed by the GOP. They just need to stand up and take credit for their work.

Posted by: Glenn on June 28, 2007 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

The Seattle program was not "voluntary" at all. It was the kind of faux "freedom" so beloved of liberals.

The plan was that students got to pick any highschool they wished to attend, out of ten in Seattle (only highschools were involved). Hence "voluntary," and all well and good. But if a particular school was racially "out of balance" based on the "voluntary" choices, then a certain number of students would be "non-voluntarily" moved to other schools in order to affect the sacred color "balance." Yeah, that's real voluntary all right. "Sorry Johnny, too many white boys already in your neighborhood school, you have to go elsewhere."

Hey, don't Liberals argue that there is no such thing as race? So why are we fussing?

What I really find hilarious in all the Leftie breast-beating going on here (have ANY of you progressed beyond the emotional age of 14?) is that school integration has a long, sorry track record of doing nothing but destroying schools that were once working. The bad school never improves by shoving some whites and Asians into it, and the media scrupulously ignores the incredible amount of abuse and violence inflicted on the non-black students in these schools. There's a story waiting to be told. Maybe in Michael Moore's next scam-fest.

But that's ok, man. It's cool if we ruin the few schools that are working, because we get to feel RIGHTEOUS about ourselves! Liberalism long since stopped being a coherent political philosophy and now it's just a fashion-based emotional posture.

"Progressive" think has virtually destroyed the American public school system. Even the vaunted rich suburban schools -- the best in the country -- churn out countless ignorant nincompoops every year, young adults with virtually no concept of history, literature or any appreciation for -- cover your eyes Maud -- Western culture. But then, that's the whole point, isn't it?

The only thing that can save American education is to shut down public schools entirely and disband the teacher's unions. Then reopen a system based on privately run schools supported by tax-payer funded tuition vouchers. Never happen, of course, but it's the only solution.

And THAT would be freedom in the true sense of the word, but you don't really want freedom, you want thought-control. And by and large you've gotten it, so stop all the whining about a little Supreme Court decision.

Posted by: peterike on June 28, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, Roberts' opinion deals quite nicely with the befuddled and results-driven reasoning of the dissent. Breyer especially gets his hat handed to him. Roberts outwits, and especially outwrites, both him and Stevens.

When you write intelligently and elegantly, you don't have to "show disdain" for your opponent.

Posted by: pnut on June 28, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

What you forget, Norm, is that FDR lost the battle but won the war. His court-packing scheme was rejected but the threat caused the Supreme Court to reverse direction and support the New Deal.

That's the Left--when things don't go your way, wreck the system, or threaten to. At least you admit there was a "court packing scheme." Another socialist bullet dodged. Not enough of them, though.

Posted by: rnc on June 28, 2007 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

It seems that they are, in essence, trying to set up churches, including catholic churches, to be the future educators of our children.

Posted by: given

Ideologues can be unconscious to the full implications of their actions, cluelessly committing injustices and crimes doing what they perceive as 'right', but functioning as minions in some devious plan.

Dear God, spare us from ideologues.

Posted by: slanted tom on June 28, 2007 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race,"

Is Roberts really saying that the post-14th Amendment "discrimination" struck down here is as pernicious as the discrimination that the 14th amendment was enacted to remedy? Really?

Maybe this eminent jurist should have read a fucking history book before he decided to rule on something he apparently knows nothing about.

Posted by: brewmn on June 28, 2007 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK
....Or is it only obstructionism when Republicans do it? rnc at 5:04 PM
Where are the calls for up-or-down votes now? Apparently, it is obstructionism only when Republicans yammer that it's the Democrats.
.... you don't really want freedom, you want thought-control.... peterike at 5:13 PM
You need to examine your beliefs. It's the Republicans who want to instill religious propaganda for all and a second-rate education for non-whites.
When you write intelligently and elegantly. p-nutat 5:17 PM
Twisted reasoning, bizarre rationales, and arbritary reversals of previous decisions have been hallmarks of the Rehnquist-Rogers court. None have ever been as incoherent as the Scalia-Thomas axis.
...before he decided to rule on something he apparently knows nothing about. brewmnat 5:28 PM
For Republicans, ignorance is not a bug, it's a feature. Posted by: Mike on June 28, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

And it's amazing how thick the trolls are coming out to celebrate another bitch slap of African-Americans.

You, and Roberts, and Scalito, can dress this up with all the faux grievance you can muster, but anyone with any sense at all can see the racism at your core. It is the animating principle behind alomst everything that you believe.

You may have won today. But I am glad that I don't need hatred of those less fortunate, and bitter satisfaction that I wasn't born on the last rung of the social ladder, in order to get my self out of bed in the morning.

Posted by: brewmn on June 28, 2007 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

expand the size of the Supreme Court

Or defund it in 2009. Or impeach some of the scum. I say take both Alito and Roberts out for lying to the Senate and the scaly dog out for not recusing himself for the Florida decision. All remedies should be doable after the next election.

Posted by: Brojo on June 28, 2007 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

This passage is especially nice:

"JUSTICE BREYER nonetheless
relies on the good intentions and motives of the school
districts, stating that he has found no case that . . . repudiated
this constitutional asymmetry between that which
seeks to exclude and that which seeks to include members
of minority races. Post, at 29 (emphasis in original). We
have found many. Our cases clearly reject the argument
that motives affect the strict scrutiny analysis. See Johnson,
supra, at 505 (We have insisted on strict scrutiny in
every context, even for so-called benign racial classifications
); Adarand, 515 U. S., at 227 (rejecting idea that
benign racial classifications may be held to different
standard); Croson, 488 U. S., at 500 (Racial classifications
are suspect, and that means that simple legislative
assurances of good intention cannot suffice)."

When you state that there are no cases contradicting your view, you probably ought to make sure there aren't any.

Posted by: pnut on June 28, 2007 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

It's also instructive to check out the incredible verbosity of the Breyer dissent. 73 pages to dissent vs 41 pages for the CJ's opinion. Breyer even has charts in his! Hilarious. This of course has nothing to do with legal reasoning.

Stevens makes a good point that he joined the court in '75 and that noone on the court back then would have signed on to this opinion. It's a comforting thought that this clown show is finally out of business.

Posted by: pnut on June 28, 2007 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

"This of course has nothing to do with legal reasoning."

You wouldn't know legal reasoning if it kicked you in the balls, moron.

Posted by: brewmn on June 28, 2007 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

"You wouldn't know legal reasoning if it kicked you in the balls, moron."

That's a great argument. Hadn't thought of that, but now I totally get your point. Highly persuasive. The scales just fell from my eyes.

Posted by: pnut on June 28, 2007 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

When you state that there are no cases contradicting your view, you probably ought to make sure there aren't any.

There aren't any. The cases Robito cites are off-point.

When you state that there are cases contradicting another's view, you probably ought to make sure that they do.

Posted by: Disputo on June 28, 2007 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK
I can't picture increasing the Supreme Court, but I can picture increasing the size of the Senate, which I think is more practical.

Increasing the size of the Supreme Court would take an act of Congress, and, if done to match the number of judicial circuits, would, IIRC, follow the practice in place up through the 1860s.

Increasing the size of the Senate would only be that easy if it was done by adding states; otherwise, it would require a Constitutional Amendment.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 28, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

This should not come as a surprise. The “conservative” movement was founded on a rejection of forced desegregation. It seems to be as deep-seated as slavery was two centuries ago. Taking control of the Court was a stated goal since the 1950's. It just took them longer than they thought. The movement justices aren't their just to overturn Roe.

But we are looking at the apotheosis of that movement. It could not be otherwise. These decisions by the Supreme Court will only lead to results that are incongruent with the opinions of most Americans. In that they will add strength to the turning of the tide. It already seems like an anachronistic, it is indeed reactionary, decision. The more the Middle Class and the poor are marginalized, the more blacks and Hispanics are ghettoized, imprisoned and demonized the more the Republicans will have to oppress- and the discontent will mount. The Republicans can do well only if their agenda is secret, but there certainly would come a time when it would become manifest much to the shock of most Americans.

Posted by: bellumregio on June 28, 2007 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

I can't picture increasing the Supreme Court, but I can picture increasing the size of the Senate...

Yeah - because it's such a breeze to enact a Constitutional amendment. That's why we have the ERA and a flag desecration amendment enshrined as the law of the land. [/incredulity]

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 28, 2007 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, it would require a Constitutional amendment, which I think would be easier to get than increasing the size of the Supreme Court by an Act of Congress because that Act would become a rallying point of political complaint forever after.

I'm not saying it might not be reasonable to have a larger court, I'm just saying it's creation at a time like this, to eliminate a majority the political majority doesn't like, would never be portrayed by any corporate media as legitimate, and they would spare no effort to establish that illegitimacy as conventional wisdom, the way lower taxes are good for everyone.

A Constitutional Amendment to expand the number of Senators, on the other hand, would efficacious for a wide variety of reasons and could not be slandered with a single motive.

Posted by: cld on June 28, 2007 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK
Yes, it would require a Constitutional amendment, which I think would be easier to get than increasing the size of the Supreme Court by an Act of Congress because that Act would become a rallying point of political complaint forever after.

It would cease to be a viable point of political contention once the seats were filled, in the same way that, when the nakedly political reduction of the size of the Supreme Court from 10 to be fixed at 9 to deny Andrew Johnson the opportunity to fill a vacancy was over and done with once it was accomplished.


A Constitutional Amendment to expand the number of Senators, on the other hand, would efficacious for a wide variety of reasons

Such as...what? I can't even think of one, much less a variety, of reasons for which it would be efficacious, unless you are talking about the kind of increase that takes two Constitutional Amendments (the first to make the second valid), not just one.

and could not be slandered with a single motive.

Well, since I can't think of any rational motive for it, I can see why it might be hard to politically label it with one clear motive.

OTOH, I don't see that as something in its favor.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 28, 2007 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

little peanut brain sounds like a first year law student who suddenly thinks his some sort of constitutional scholar.
Good for you that you're a member of the John Roberts fan club, but just saying that someone is more brilliant than someone else doesn't make it so--and if showing disdain for the majority opinion makes you an intellectual lightweight, then Scalia is the lightweight champion of all time.

You have read Scalia's opinion's haven't you? Disdain for opposing opinions doesn't even begin to describe them. Not only that, he mocked at least one of those opinions at a public speaking appearance--he didn't even have the balls to say that crap from the bench.
But scum like Scalia and Roberts don't have to live with the consequences of their decisions. Luckily, Roberts and his wife were able to adopt two nice white children.

Posted by: haha on June 28, 2007 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

one good thing though, assuming that Stevens lasts for one more term, is that Bush won't be appointing any more conservatard justices to the SCOTUS--and I think that more than one justice will be appointed by the next president, who will be a Democrat.

Guys like Kennedy aren't exactly young anymore.

Posted by: haha on June 28, 2007 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

It is very depressing and likely this administration's fateful legacy.
A lesser man who did not win the 2000 election stacked the court with narrow minded nebbishes.
The last two should never have been approved. It is appalling.
This country is in deep trouble.

Posted by: consider wisely always on June 28, 2007 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

brewmn: I appreciate you showing us a parody of how some people shy away from discussions of legal and constitutional issues by using name-calling.

And it's amazing how thick the trolls are coming out to celebrate another bitch slap of African-Americans. You, and Roberts, and Scalito, can dress this up with all the faux grievance you can muster, but anyone with any sense at all can see the racism at your core. It is the animating principle behind alomst everything that you believe.
Oh wait. You were serious? Yes, yes, we're all racist! Even the libertarians who oppose Bush and all of his autocratic leanings, those who support Democrats, etc etc. It doesn't matter what we say, all those constitutional arguments (that you don't / can't answer) are irrelevant; you didn't get what you want, so you just know that racism is in our hearts.

And as a gay Hispanic man being plenty bitch-slapped by the current administration, I will sink to your level for a moment and offer you a hearty recommendation to go have intercourse with yourself. Don't you dare fall back on pathetic "you're all racist" name-calling to hide your sad lack of defense as to why race should be used as a tie-breaker in any situation.

If you really cared about bringing people up out of poverty, you would advocate a class-based system, one that alots these spots on basis of family income and wealth, not race.

Posted by: torrentprime on June 28, 2007 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

It would cease to be a viable point of political contention once the seats were filled, in the same way that, when the nakedly political reduction of the size of the Supreme Court from 10 to be fixed at 9 to deny Andrew Johnson the opportunity to fill a vacancy was over and done with once it was accomplished.


But that was during the crookedest period in our history, up to now, and if that were pursued by the Democrats it is the Democrats who could be accused of doing it in their own selfish interest,it would always be described as a coup d'judiciary and undermine the progressive agenda.


You can't think of one reason why the number of Senators should be increased?

I think the number of Senators should be increased to five per state.

The number of two Senators per state was set during the 18th century, when they had rather tremendously less to do than they do now. The expansion of lobbyists and the power of Congressional aides is entirely because there is so much more to keep track of.

The recent development of the Office of the Vice President, over the last few decades, is an example of that same problem. In the late Roman Empire it became too much for one man to deal with and they began having co-emperors before it came apart entirely. More Senators would mean more people with the power and the time to keep track of people like Dick Cheney, and corporate malefactors.

More Senators would increase representation and people's sense of representation. More Senators, in my view, would lead to a larger Democratic representation, (and it would also increase the satisfaction with their own Republican represenation among districts so inclined), and would create a higher likelihood of veto-proof majorities, obviating Presidential intransigence, and Supreme Court idiosyncracy.

It would also create an interesting dynamic where some states would have more Senators than Representatives.

Posted by: cld on June 28, 2007 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

If you really cared about bringing people up out of poverty, you would advocate a class-based system, one that alots these spots on basis of family income and wealth, not race.

I just love it when my plan of pitting one group of colored people against another group of colored people comes to fruition.

Posted by: Jim Crow on June 28, 2007 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

Can you imagine what would happen if the Democratic Congress tried to impeach Clarence Thomas or Scalia on the basis of their sheer idiocy?

It would produce the same effect as packing the bench.

(In my view, while it would be perfectly correct to impeach them on these grounds, what kind of precedent does it set? It would inevitably come back to haunt us.)

Posted by: cld on June 28, 2007 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

It would also create an interesting dynamic where some states would have more Senators than Representatives.

We already got that.

I don't see what increasing the number of Senators the same across all states would do other than increase the unrepresentative nature of the Senate. On the other hand, if you want to give the people who live in sparsely populated states even more power, that's the way to go.

Posted by: Disputo on June 28, 2007 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

There's a state with only one Representative?

Posted by: cld on June 28, 2007 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps I should have said 'at least five per state'. I have nothing against proportional representation that would increase the number even more.

Posted by: cld on June 28, 2007 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Now that I've been thinking about it, expanding the Court might work if presented carefully.


It would have to be pegged at a number in a way that would make future tampering hard if not impossible.


It would have to be a Constitutional Amendment with a formula fixing the number of Justices to the population somehow, directly or indirectly.

Posted by: cld on June 28, 2007 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK
Can you imagine what would happen if the Democratic Congress tried to impeach Clarence Thomas or Scalia on the basis of their sheer idiocy?

They'd fail to remove them because it would take 67 votes in the Senate to do so.

It would produce the same effect as packing the bench.

No, it wouldn't.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 28, 2007 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Mike: Not executing the retarded is not only a Christian/humanist position, it's also the civilized and conservative/liberal one. The vote from Thomas, Scali to, Alito, Roberts shows they are neither Christian nor civilized.

It would be unethical for a Justice to decide a case based on his/her religion or personal philosphy. E.g., you would be rightly appalled if Justice Ginsberg ruled that a yarmulke must be worn while praying, just because that's what her religion says.

Laws should be over-ruled only when the Constitution demands. Neither the Christian Bible nor any humanist tract is a part of the Constitution.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 28, 2007 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

"Today, there is one representative per several hundred thousand people.

There are six states with just one representative per state. They are Alaska, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. "

Posted by: Mary Nell on June 28, 2007 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

This decision once again brings to mind the Anatole France remark, "The law, in its infinite wisdom, prohibits both rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges."

Posted by: jprichva on June 28, 2007 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK
You can't think of one reason why the number of Senators should be increased?

Yeah, that's exactly what I said. Why the echo?

I think the number of Senators should be increased to five per state.

Why?

The number of two Senators per state was set during the 18th century, when they had rather tremendously less to do than they do now.

I don't actually think Senators have too onerous of a workload now, and if I did, and I thought it created enough of a problem to warrant a Constitutional Amendment, I'd prefer to solve the problem by giving either giving the undemocratic body less to do rather than increasing its size.

OTOH, simply increasing staff budgets ought to deal with any real workload problems in the Senate. If the country can get by with one President, who has about as much to do as the entire legislative branch, it can probably get by with a mere 100 Senators.

The expansion of lobbyists and the power of Congressional aides is entirely because there is so much more to keep track of.

The expansion of lobbyists is because there are more different interests to represent, changing the number of Senators won't change that. The expansion of the power of lobbyists, if it really has expanded, is likely because Senators spend more time working to get elected and less time on substantive matters. While increasing the number of Senators might slightly increase the prestige and thus attraction of Senate service and thus marginally reduce that, it won't affect the changed political and media environment that has made the same thing true of even state legislators in many cases.

The recent development of the Office of the Vice President, over the last few decades, is an example of that same problem.

The recent development of the Office of the Vice President is a result of a Constitutionally indepedent office that has no substantive Constitutional obligations on a day-to-day basis and little accountability and that has, through electoral reforms and changes in party nomination practices, become increasingly tightly tied to the Presidency.

It has really very little to do with anything that might have gone in terms of the Senate, even though the VP is also President of that body.

In the late Roman Empire it became too much for one man to deal with and they began having co-emperors before it came apart entirely.

The Roman Empire was increasingly unstable through a pattern of succession in which the greatest military threat to the present ruler was appeased by naming them as successor, which created a positive feedback loop of instability, which resulted in the tetrarchy under Diocletian.

This doesn't really have much to do with any pattern that might be believed to exist in US Senators having more work.

More Senators would mean more people with the power and the time to keep track of people like Dick Cheney, and corporate malefactors.

And likewise more seeking favor from corporate malefactors, and shilling for Cheney. Given that the corporate media will choose which to highlight based on its own interests, more "official" voices to choose from just means more ability to pretend to provide broad coverage while ignoring certain voices.

But unless it substantially increased the proportion of Senators concerned about doing the people's work on those issues—which you don't give any reason to believe it would—there is no reason to expect better results.

More Senators, in my view, would lead to a larger Democratic representation

How? More Senators isn't going to stop them from being elected in statewide at-large elections, so you'd expect the same partisan composition, just greater numbers. (Now, if you made it 5 per state, and required that they be simultaneously elected by a candidate-centric proportional representation system, that would change the partisan dynamic, though not necessarily particualrly in the favor of either of the two existing major parties.)

(and it would also increase the satisfaction with their own Republican represenation among districts so inclined),

How?

and would create a higher likelihood of veto-proof majorities, obviating Presidential intransigence, and Supreme Court idiosyncracy.

For the reasons noted above, it wouldn't be likely to change the partisan composition, so you'd have to get a greater absolute number of people bucking the party-line to create a veto-proof majority on any issue (and the same proportional share). Sorry, I don't see that being any more likely with more members.

It would also create an interesting dynamic where some states would have more Senators than Representatives.

Every state has two Senators now. Montana, Wyoming, both Dakotas, Alaska, Rhode Island, and Vermont have 1 representative each in the House. So, no, that wouldn't create that "interesting dynamic" (not that there is much "interesting" about that "dynamic" in the first place.)


Posted by: cmdicely on June 28, 2007 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

There are six states with just one representative per state.

So this is what it is to be gobsmacked. I would never have guessed.

The relative power the Senators and lone Representative must wield in those states is appalling.

Breaking it up couldn't hurt.


And if we are concerned about empty land voting in this, a lot more emptiness goes into one of two than into one of five. Say, Ted Stevens. If he had to compete for palm grease that bridge might have gone somewhere.

Perhaps we should consider doing away with residency requirements, so parties could drop in candidates from out of state?

Posted by: cld on June 28, 2007 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

Even Sandra Day O'Connor believed that race-based school preferences would disappear in about 20years or so. 1975 was 32 years ago, and in some places it's fair to eliminate the race-based assignments a little earlier than she announced.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 28, 2007 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

"and in some places it's fair to eliminate the race-based assignments a little earlier than she announced"

A stunningly irrelevant statement to the decision made today. Did you, perchance, have anything coherent to say?

Posted by: PaulB on June 28, 2007 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

You can't think of one reason?

Why five per state? Four doesn't sound like enough to keep up with the expansion in complexity since the 18th century. Five doesn't sound like enough, either, but I think saying specifically something higher could never get passed. It would just sound like too much.

I am not wedded to five. A scheme of proportional representation is fine with me, but I think five should be the least.

I don't think less government is going to be an answer to any question before us.

The problem with increasing Congressional aides and staffs is that those people are not elected and are a specific subset or class themselves with their own native Washingtonian perspective, which is to say, they more or less fall along an axis between George Stephanopoulos and Ken Starr. The work product they put out is going to reflect those biases and manners and the more of them there are, the less likely they'll be to even realize they're a subculture. Like an aristocracy of the banal that overwhelms the hayseed Congressman with bowties and paperwork.

A few months ago, when talk of undoing the K Street project was all in the news, one of the things we kept hearing was that Congressmen actually needed the lobbyists simply to stay in touch with the complex issues industries faced which they would never have the time for themselves. I would say this is an argument for increasing their number, not cutting back their capabilities.

Presidents are just one person and, starting with Mondale, they started finding more and more things the Vice President ought to be doing to take off some of the workload. Cheney just grabbed the ball like no other. That's what made me think of the co-Emperors. By that time the Emperors had entirely cut the Senate out of serious participation in the Empire, but it was more than one person could manage. I don't want to see this in the US. The Republicans spent the last six years trying to invalidate Congress and create a genuinely Imperial presidency. I can't say how much I think this is wrong. Clearly, if they have shown anything, it's that one person can't do it all, even Cheney.

So I think that rather than knocking out Congress and having two co-Emperors, we should increase Congress and have one President.

More Senators would also be more able to keep an eye on one another.

More Senators would create a larger Democratic representation because the districts would be smaller and more likely to be assigned proportionately, and I think fewer people will vote Republican if they can avoid it. In states where they are elected state-wide, it would give people the chance to split their vote. This may be the only way national alternatives to the Democratic and Republican parties could be evolved.

Very Republican areas, given a chance to vote for the crank of their choice rather than having to compromise with someone who looks like he might be sane, will necesarily be happier, and, I think, less likely to try and cause trouble on the large scale when they can be happy knowing they are totally screwed at home.

I don't deny I may be wrong on that.

Why would it be harder to organize a veto-proof majority with higher numbers than it is now? The percentage needed won't change.

I don't see why increasing the number in the upper body would create a more unwieldy circumstance than we have now, but I can easily picture it becoming more fluid, and I think that would be progress.

Posted by: cld on June 28, 2007 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Since the “sticking point” for Roberts and his fellow conservatives seems to be placing students based on the color of their skins, I would like to propose an alternative solution that would achieve diversity in the schools.

Every child should register for school, just like men have registered for the draft. Before the school year starts, there would be a lottery drawing of birth days for each school. One school would be assigned all the children born on January 1st, February 18th, March 2, March 23rd, etc., etc. This would GUARANTEE a totally random group for each school. The selection process would be completely color blind.

Posted by: emmarose on June 28, 2007 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

Think again.

For an example of revengeful, vindictive African Americans taking over a large metropolitan school district and trashing it in the name of desegregation, think Kansas City, Mo.

Think Kansas City Southwest High School.

The Rise and Fall of Excellence.

Read it and weep.

http://store.jchs.org/images/Rise&Fall.jpg

Posted by: thinkagain on June 28, 2007 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

mrm: "and in some places it's fair to eliminate the race-based assignments a little earlier than she announced"

PaulB A stunningly irrelevant statement to the decision made today.

did they eliminate race-based assignments everywhere? I think they wrote that the particular school district hadn't met a reasonable burden of proof that race-based assignments were necessary to correct the lingering effects past prejudicial treatment.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 28, 2007 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

Roberts: On the two school plans, the majority found that the districts have "failed to provide the necessary support for the proposition that there is no other way than individual racial classifications to avoid racial isolation in their school districts."

In other cases where such support is provided, race-based preferences may still be permitted.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 28, 2007 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

Think Again: Do you actually live here? Do you know anything else about the school system here? About the history of the area? That white flight to the suburbs of Johnson County, KS was a huge contributing factor to the problems of the school system and was devastating to the tax base? That corruption runs so deep in this town that our police force answers to the state legislature and not the city council? (Big Tom Pendergast out-Tammanied Tammany Hall.) That the era this covers was accompanied by economic turmoil and job loss, including the total loss of an Air Force base on the southern edge of the town that scaled back for years before closing? That jobs followed the skilled workers to JoCo? The social dynamics of the city you are referencing?

In other words, did you do your homework before spouting off? Do you actually know a god damned thing about it other than what you read in one biased article?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 29, 2007 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

That white flight to the suburbs of Johnson County, KS was a huge contributing factor to the problems of the school system and was devastating to the tax base?

Liberals always blame urban problems on the people who don't live there -- it's as though the departure of white people by itself turns black children into bad students or something. As for the tax base, the school system itself received a tremendous infusion of money, and still failed decisively. But then, I lived in Cass Co. MO, not Jackson Co. MO, and my friends and family are in Johnson Co, Kansas. I did have a friend who lived and worked in KC MO, but he sent his child to private school. I have some friends who grew up in KC, MO, but their neighborhoods, and neighborhood schools, are pretty degraded now.

You are familiar, I suppose, with Richards-Gebaur AFB, as it was, near Belton?

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 29, 2007 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK

This link is provided in honor of all the dumbshits (you know who you are) who claim that racism is no longer an issue.

Posted by: Disputo on June 29, 2007 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure that conservatives are chuckling at the delicious irony that pretending to oppose racism can lead to the ideal racist result: a return to mostly segregated schools, with a vastly better learning environment for most white children than for most black children.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on June 29, 2007 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

You're confusing "irony" with "purpose".

Posted by: Disputo on June 29, 2007 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

Wow you're full of great ideas today, cld. And by great I mean really really stupid. Jesus, when will you take a day off?

Posted by: SD Law on June 29, 2007 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Hey haha, great handle for your joke comments. Kennedy and Scalia are both about 71. I guess they'll stick around for another 20 yrs. Supremes don't usually retire all that early.

Posted by: pnut on June 29, 2007 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

"Kennedy and Scalia are both about 71. I guess they'll stick around for another 20 yrs. Supremes don't usually retire all that early."

Maybe we'll just have to add a little rat poison to their creme brulee.

Posted by: brewmn on June 29, 2007 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

"Yes, yes, we're all racist! Even the libertarians who oppose Bush and all of his autocratic leanings, those who support Democrats, etc etc. It doesn't matter what we say, all those constitutional arguments (that you don't / can't answer) are irrelevant; you didn't get what you want, so you just know that racism is in our hearts."

First, the people you describe are a sliver of a minority of the people cheering this ruling, so I don't think you've challenged my general point in the slightest.

Second, if you think that race-based remedies to school segregation are as bad as the problems they were designed to cure, then you are mistaking an effect for a cause. Not to mention that your outrage seems wildly misplaced, and might lead a reasonable person to question your priorities and find your values suspect.

Third, explain to me how the argument that the 14th Amendment, considering its historical context and its language about "affirmative acts" to effect its purpose, can plausibly be read to outlaw race-based remedies and demand color-blindness in all government actions.

"If you really cared about bringing people up out of poverty, you would advocate a class-based system, one that alots these spots on basis of family income and wealth, not race."

I agree with this. And when conservatives and your vaunted "libertarians" join liberals in a massive re-investment in all of our public school systems, I will welcome them.

Posted by: brewmn on June 29, 2007 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

"Kennedy and Scalia are both about 71. I guess they'll stick around for another 20 yrs. Supremes don't usually retire all that early."

and American men don't usually live to be anywhere near 91 years old. Stevens is an exception, unfortunately for you.

Posted by: haha on June 29, 2007 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK
Laws should be over-ruled only when the Constitution demands..... ex-lax at 9:31 PM
There is no death penalty in the Constitution. Therefore, that punishment relies on the standards of the people of the nation. In Europe and other nations, capital punishment has been abolished . Only is some barbaric societies does it thrive. It may be unethical for a justice to decide a case based on their religious preference, but I note that the Catholic justices are the most conservative so that must be exactly what they are doing. [these are Roberts, Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, Alito]
....I have been chewed out by my boss for failing to hire a black. He had told me to get a "minority"; the Asian woman I hired didn't satisfy him. He wanted an African American.... ex-lax at 2:55 PM
This confirms my belief that racism is the core value of Republicans. Your refusal to even hire or consider hiring an African-American is bigotry at its ugliest.
Liberals always blame urban problems on the people who don't live there .... MatthewRmarler at 2:32 AM
On the contrary, it was always the Republican racist crowd who was blaming 'outside agitators' for calling for racial equality.

Republicans have been fighting against integration since Brown and this decision, distorting as it does the meaning of Brown, is another of your attempts to keep black people 'in their place,' as the racists say.

Posted by: Mike on June 29, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

SD Law was a sitcom from the 80s that worked on the theory 'girls too are horny'.

It was about a blonde with huge boobs who was a paralegal who wanted people to appreciate how serious she was, and her roommate who was plain and couldn't get laid.

Hilarious!

Posted by: cld on June 29, 2007 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

I think it starred Loni Andersen.

Posted by: cld on June 29, 2007 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Ya know, I worked for the Civil Rights Division before the Christianists stacked it, but at the end of the day, I don't think using race to fill these last few spots in school selection is the RIGHT thing to do, even if it does promote integration (which I am all for).

After all, today almost infinitely more than pre-Brown, there are successful African-American families and successful Latino families all across America. Race is no longer the biggest indicator in who is getting a poor education. Poverty is.

Now there may be some kind of correlation between race and poverty, but a race-neutral scheme, such as taking the smartest students from the poorest performing schools and letting them into those last slots would probably result in increased diversity while not shutting poor white kids out.

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 29, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

"those last slots would probably result in increased diversity while not shutting poor white kids out."

If you had any evidence that this was happening in any significant way, I might agree with you. But you don't have anything other than muckraking racists and thin anecdotal evidence indicating that poor white kids getting shut out is a problem in need of governmental redress.

Posted by: brewmn on June 29, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

"School vouchers will solve these problems."

Just exactly how? The good schools will still be everyone's choice and some system to pick who gets in will be necessary.

Duh.

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 29, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

"But you don't have anything other than muckraking racists and thin anecdotal evidence indicating that poor white kids getting shut out is a problem in need of governmental redress."

Granted for the sake of argument.

If poor white kids getting shut out is not a problem, then using a poverty-based approach would achieve the same result as using a race-based approach, without the "discrimination" problem, no?

So tell me again, getting the "right" result with an unassailable "solution" is a problem how?

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 29, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

We had more than 40 democratic senators. If they had any courage, they would have filibustered both of these extremists.

Its not just elections that have consequences, so does political cowardice.

Posted by: exhuming mccarthy on June 29, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

"Liberals always blame urban problems on the people who don't live there -- it's as though the departure of white people by itself turns black children into bad students or something."

Hear hear! A brief flash of sense amongst these ranting hysterics. First, a news flash. We did not just go back to 1952. Get over it. Anyway...

Let's try a bit of logic on you fine folks here. The hysteria over this decision seems to come down to a thought process that goes like this. "If you segregate schools again [which this won't do but...] then you doom black kids to ghettoization and failure."

In other words, what you are REALLY saying is that those poor black kids are just absolutely hopeless without some friendly white liberals around patting them on their little heads showing them the way the truth and the light. You don't even realize how despicably contemptible your own position is towards blacks, how it essentially relegates blacks to the status of hopeless foul-ups who need to follow around a whitey to see how to succeed.

The sad truth is that for quite some decades now the principal cause of black failure has been (shocking) black behavior. Numerous social pathologies that crack-pated white liberals have romanticized ("oh that gangsta rap is just so REAL man") and black "leaders" have excused and blamed on "whitey," all of it fomenting a horrendous culture of blame and victimization.

You want the real problem? Look at yourselves and the pathologies you continue to feed, and stop your Chicken Little hysteria over minor court decisions. When I see Al Sharpton bringing his portable-protest-machine to the home of a black gangsta who has victimized other blacks, then I'll know things are getting somewhere. Until then all you're really doing is pumping up your already limitless moral self-regard.

Posted by: peterike on June 29, 2007 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Well there was one bit of good news coming from the Supreme Court this week.

In Panetti v. Quarterman, the Court not only blocked another execution in Texas and told the lower courts to get their act together, but actually allowed for future arguments based on filing legal challenges beyond statutory limits.

Posted by: Mimi Schaeffer on June 30, 2007 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK
….In other words...peterike at 5:44 PM
What you are saying is that re-segregation is good Republicanism. Keeping inner city ghettos is good Republicanism, and continuing the inadequate inner city schools is fine and there is no way out. You are taking a typical line that was common in the 50's and purposely ignores it detrimental effect of the America's separate and unequal school system. If you were honest, you would want all children to have the equal chance at success in life that a good education offers. Instead, your 5 rightist loons are moving American backwards. "Never has so much been undone by so few in so short a time." Bigots have always tried to claim the moral high ground for racism. It doesn't work. Posted by: Mike on June 30, 2007 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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