Equally Unequal

Two court cases come to our attention, courtesy of Cato’s Ilya Shapiro. Both involve the favoring of members of one group over another.

The Sixth Circuit ruled that a voter-approved amendment to the Michigan state constitution outlawing racial preferences in college admissions would violate the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause. The amendment states in part that Michigan public colleges and universities shall “not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin. . . .”

In his dissent, Judge Richard Griffin writes: “The post-Civil War amendment that guarantees equal protection to persons of all races has now been construed as barring a state from prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race.” Shapiro calls the decision Orwellian.

The other case involves California law banning sellers of eyewear who are not state-licensed optometrists and ophthalmologists from conducting eye exams and selling glasses at the same place of business. The law prevents national eyewear chains from competing effectively in California (since customers prefer to get their glasses and eye exams in one shop).

Cato joins an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to take up the California case. Shapiro also says that because there are two conflicting lower-court decisions on the Michigan question, the Supreme Court is likely to add that case to its docket.

Let’s hope all further rulings are based on a clear-sighted respect for equal rights under the law.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Nov
    20
    4:10
    PM
    Mark Read Pickens

    Perhaps Newspeak should be taught in public schools so everyone, not merely judges, can become fluent.

    Regarding the California case, do we really want the chaos of optometrists and ophthalmologists occupying the same office? Without government regulation, what protects the public from lower prices?

  2. Nov
    20
    10:43
    PM
    Drik

    If the results are not equal then there must have been discrimination, because otherwise it would imply that the cultures are different and that one is superior.
    Which is an anathema for those that confuse race and culture.

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