Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Spring is in the air, and old men’s hearts turn to thoughts of . . . law.

Yes, Supreme Court Decision Season has begun. Yesterday, two decisions were handed down.

In Schuette v. BAMN, Justice Kennedy “announced” the decision to reverse a previous court’s determination overruling a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment in Michigan. Kennedy (joined by Alito and Chief Justice Roberts) found that the people could prohibit race-based affirmative action policies in their state. After all, the Supreme Court had merely allowed such practices in previous cases. It did not require them.

This shouldn’t be controversial — indeed, it was decided 6-2 with liberal Justice Stephen Breyer joining conservatives. Still, Justice Sotomayor read her dissent from the bench, saying “without checks, democratically approved legislation can oppress minority groups.”

The democratically approved legislation in this case prohibited discrimination on the grounds of race — hardly a source of oppression for anyone. Ilya Somin’s prediction of this decision last October is worth contrasting to Sotomayor’s worry: “In no conceivable world can the Equal Protection Clause — the constitutional provision that bans racial discrimination — prohibit a state law that bans racial discrimination.”

Justice Scalia (joined by Clarence Thomas) used his concurring opinion to make some sense of the constitutional status of race in American higher education with “It has come to this.” It’s quite a read.

But there was no joining of Thomas and Scalia in Navarette v. California. Thomas wrote the opinion, deciding that a traffic stop drug bust was okee-dokee, even if initiated by a 911 caller complaining of a truck-driver’s alleged bad driving. Scalia called the decision “a freedom-destroying cocktail.”

So much for the lock-step left-right divide on the High Court.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Drik says:

    No check on continued competency or senility. Obviously America is not smoking what the Supremes are smoking. And how does the country ever get back to a system that decides what the states meant when they ratified the Constitution, instead of what every possible nuanced interpretation of the verbiage might be?

  2. MoreFreedom says:

    The ironic thing, is we fought against (not racism) government backed racial discrimination. Then the equal rights admendment was passed to outlaw racial discrimination. But then the SCOTUS decided that a majority of voters could vote for government backed racial discrimination in the euphamisism of “affirmative action.” Now the SCOTUS has decided that a majority of voters can decide against racial discrimination that’s called “affirmative action.”

    If voters can reject racial discrimination, then why can’t they vote for it as well? And we’re back to majorities discriminating against minorities, and backed by government.

    The justices have shown, they are all for racial discrimination, via a majority vote, in spite of the 14th amendment that holds we should all be equal before tha law, and the 15th amendment that prohibits the state discriminating based on race. They didn’t uphold the constitution in allowing “affirmative action” which is not affirmative to those discriminated against, to exist. They would have been better off saying the precedent was wrong.

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