The Supreme F****** Court

Another day, another bevy of deeply depressing 5-4 Supreme Court decisions. The conservative old guys in robes are limiting growth in newer sectors of the economy (like e-commerce) and punishing working Americans by deciding that after a century, price collusion is now okay! Industry can establish price floors in order to "increase competition." Justice Breyer, who dissented, says the immediate affect will be higher prices for consumer goods.

Even more depressing, the Court this morning dealt a blow to Brown v. Board of Education. Did Brown succeed in integrating America’s schools and providing a quality education to all American children regardless of race? No way. That’s because of our continued geographical segregation (white people live near white people, black people live near black people, and so on) and because we fund our schools primarily through local property taxes. This means that poor communities, which collect the least tax revenue, have the fewest resources for schools.

Busing has been the major way larger towns and cities try to integrate in spite of these limitations. Busing isn’t usually fair; children of color and poor children are much more likely to be bused long distances than their wealthier, whiter counterparts. In Seattle and Louisville, upper middle class parents angry that their children were being bused in order to integrate the public schools sued the district. And now the Court has backed them up, making the ridiculous statement that although integration is a worthy goal, you can’t integrate by crafting policies based on race. I wonder how the Court would feel about a class-based integration model.

Anthony Kennedy, how finely can you split a hair?

3 thoughts on “The Supreme F****** Court

  1. Greenbandit

    Does this mean it is now our turn to start complaining about activist judges? Or should we just be pointing out that from now on conservatives need to shut their mouths about judicial activism, and we can start debating the reasoning of these opinions instead of using buzzwords?

  2. Dana

    Here’s what I think: if you believed in civil rights, you shouldn’t have a problem with justices doing the right thing according to their own conscious, even if they are ahead of public opinion. So instead of progressives decrying “judicial activism,” we need to, yes, debate these flawed arguments on their own terms, and show people why they are bad for America.

  3. BF

    Class-based integration is totally legit and more common than you might think. There are lots of school districts that do things like keep the number of students receiving subsidized lunches below a certain level at each school or make sure that low-performing students are distributed evenly. San Fran does something like this. The court reached it’s decision not because children couldn’t choose the school they wanted (that happens everywhere), but because their (over)literal reading of Brown makes excluding (or choosing not to include) an individual on the basis of race impermissible.

    In an era of lowered expectations, at least Kennedy rescued diversity as a compelling government interest from the jaws of the plurality. And I actually think the Seattle plan sounded too sloppy to pass strict scrutiny, but there could have been a remedy short of complete invalidation.


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