Sometimes they do get it Way Right
Alright, well, given all the abuse I heaped on the Supreme Court yesterday, I should probably give them kudos for what they did today. The case is Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District(05 US 908) - and it deals a decisive blow to affirmative action.
The issue is very simple. Some white kids were denied a petition for enrollment at nearby schools because they were white, and admitting them would have upset the "racial balance" of the school. In other words, it's an open-and-shut racial discrimination case. The Supreme Court was divided 5-4 - but they came down on the right side: denying someone admission solely on the basis of that person's race is illegal discrimination - even if the defendant's race is "white."
One especially cool point about the ruling in this case that has (at the time of writing) gone unnoticed by the press so far is that it not only deals a blow to Affirmative Action, but also to the faux "rationale" currently advanced for its support - the so-called "diversity" movement. From the syllabus:
Even as to race, the plans here employ only a limited notion of diversity, viewing race exclusively in white/nonwhite terms in Seattle and black/"other" terms in Jefferson County.
Which is to say, the Court accpets actual diversity as a laudable goal, but they've struck down the "diversity" smokescreen that the NAACP uses to promote its racist agenda. "Diversity" is no longer legal doublespeak for "handouts for blacks."
Other gems include:
The school districts have not carried the heavy burden of showing that the interest they seek to achieve justifies the extreme means they have chosen --- discriminating among individual students based on race by relying upon racial classifications in making school assignments.
Now THAT is absolutely crucial - roughly the line I've been waiting all my white life to hear: that racial discrimination against people of ANY ethnicity is "extreme means." I think what's frustrating about the whole Affirmative Action debate is the almost flippant way it's assumed that whites (and men, and especially white men) can "just deal" with whatever's thrown at them. As if there aren't plenty of poor and fairly downtrodden white people too! Not all, not most, not even many white people play golf at the club weekly. Most of us are not that different from the rest of the population, really. Shocking as this may be to the NAACP's organization of racial gang-bangers, denying a white person entrance to a school of their choice is every bit as harmful now as it was when they were doing it to blacks way back when. We also (gasp!) plan our careers around getting into certain schools, etc., and tend to view it as a setback when we're not allowed in, and we'd really like to think that if we're denied it's because the other candidates are better, not because we were born the wrong color.
Indeed, all this should sound very familiar to the NAACP crowd - and that's because it's precisely the same evil. Racism is still racism when you're doing it to white people.
And yet another cool bit:
The fact that Seattle has ceased using the racial tiebreaker pending the outcome here is not dispositive, since the district vigorously defends its program's constitutionality, and nowhere suggests that it will not resume using race to assign students if it prevails.
That's nice. That's nice because it's a good rejection of discrimination on principled grounds. Programs in which race could be the deciding factor aren't even allowed as temporary measures!
The dark cloud on the horizon, though, is this:
Although remedying the effects of past intentional discrimination is a compelling interest under the strict scrutiny test ... that interest is not involved here because the Seattle schools were never segregated by law nor subject to court-ordered desegregation.
Um...OUCH! In other words, race can still be a decisive factor in school assignment in places that have historical baggage. Which means Affirmative Action will be alive and well whereever it can be used as "payback," never mind that the victims weren't involved in the original offense. So this isn't a total victory for the good guys. But it's still a decisive battle, and I'm not going to complain. This is a better ruling that we probably should have expected - and it IS a decisive blow to the idea of Affirmative Action, even if it doesn't eliminate the problem as completely as lots of us would ideally have liked. I'll take it.