[eDebate] FWD: Brown, Affirmative Action & 'overturning' SC decisions
Wed May 24 10:11:04 CDT 2006
David Breshears asked me to post this for him:
Brown v. Board of Education is all but dead.? The Court has abandoned
all pretenses of enforcing desegregation orders, and school districts
across the country are resegregating.? Busing programs have been
abandoned, majority minority schools have been (re)created, and all of
this has been accomplished without overturning Brown.?
I don't think most people realize how rare an actual overturning of
past precedent occurs.? For example, y'all do realize that Brown v.
Board of Education did not actually overturn Plessy v. Ferguson,
right?? Plessy is still technically "good law," except insofar as it is
contradicted by the ruling in Brown.? Not the same as being
overturned.? Similarly, the Court will allow the resegregation of
society along racial lines, and is in fact doing just that right now,
but they will do so without touching Brown.? In spite of its practical
irrelevance, the Brown decision still holds some symbolic value, as
evidenced by Dr. Warner's citation of the numerous homages & tributes
that marked the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary a few years back.?
Still, for all that, the decision is largely moribund.
America's educational system is more segregated now than at any time
during the past half century.? Ironically, schools in the South are
slightly more likely to be desegregated than those in the North, but
even this is starting to change.? In the wake of Milliken v. Bradley,
Missouri v. Jenkins, Board of Ed. OKC v. Dowell, etc., the educational
desegregation project has come to a close.? I'm not sure if this helps
or hurts Dr. Warner's suggestion that overturning Brown be considered
by the topic committee, but it's a fact that needs to be considered.
As far as affirmative action goes, and I haven't followed the
discussion on eDebate at all, so my apologies if this is redundant, but
overturning any of the recent SC decisions regarding affirmative action
would create a bidirectional topic.? The majority opinions in each of
these cases recognized the possibility of an affirmative action program
that passed strict scrutiny, but invalidated each specific instance
under consideration as not sufficiently narrowly tailored to pass
muster.? So, overturning Grutter or Gratz could entail abandoning the
strict scrutiny test (no more strict scrutiny for "reverse"
discrimination), thus allowing broad-based affirmative action, or
rejecting the idea that any program could pass such a test, thus
eliminating any race-based affirmative action.? Again, apologies if
this is redundant, but I have no intention of reading through all the
aff action posts just to see if this point has already been made.
How low will we go? Check out Yahoo! Messenger?s low PC-to-Phone call
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