Racism is NOT Equal Justice Under The Law

Scalia makes racially charged argument in affirmative-action case

12/09/15 03:45 PM By Steve Benen – maddowblog

 .
About a month ago, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke to first-year law students at Georgetown, where he drew a parallel between gay people, pedophiles, and child abusers. What would he do for an encore?
  .
This morning, the high court heard oral arguments in a Texas case on affirmative action and the use of race in college admissions, and NBC News reported that Scalia “questioned whether some minority students are harmed by the policy because it helped them gain admittance to schools where they might not be able to academically compete.”
 .
At first blush, that sounds pretty racist, so let’s check the official transcript:
“There are – there are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to ­­ to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less­-advanced school, a less – a slower-track school where they do well.
 .
“One of – one of the briefs pointed out that – that most of the – most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re – that they’re being pushed ahead in – in classes that are too ­­ too fast for them.”
If we were to go out of our way to be charitable, I suppose we could emphasize the fact that Scalia prefaced these comments by saying “there are those who contend.” In other words, maybe the far-right justice himself isn’t making such an ugly argument, so much as the justice is referencing an offensive argument from unnamed others?
 .
It is, to be sure, a stretch. At no point did Scalia say he disagrees with “those who contend” that African-American students who struggle at good universities and are better off at “a slower-track school.”
 .
David Plouffe, a former aide to President Obama, highlighted Scalia’s quote this afternoon and asked a pertinent question: “Motivation lacking for 2016?”
.
As for the case itself, Fisher v. Texas, which has been bouncing around for a long while, MSNBC’s Irin Carmon reported that the dispute stems from a complaint filed by Abigail Fisher, a white woman “who claims she was denied admission to the University of Texas because of her race, despite the fact that a lower court found she wouldn’t have been admitted regardless of her race.”
 .
And how did oral arguments go? Carmon added:
The liberals worked to poke holes in the argument that Texas cannot put race on the list of holistic factors. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made the same point she had made the first time Fisher came to the court, which is that the supposedly “race-neutral” process of admitting the top 10 percent, which isn’t being challenged in this case, isn’t race-neutral at all, because it makes virtue out of a long history of school and housing segregation and discrimination. Justice Elena Kagan didn’t say a word, because she has recused herself, having worked on the case as solicitor general. Justice Sonia Sotomayor fiercely challenged Fisher’s attorneys.
 .
Meanwhile, three of the four most conservative members of the court reiterated that they oppose affirmative action and would overturn the court’s precedent that it is allowed as a last resort to promote educational diversity. Chief Justice John Roberts repeatedly asked when remedies to racial discrimination would no longer be needed. (Judging from his past decisions, he believes the time is now.) Justice Samuel Alito tried to argue that advocates for affirmative action are themselves making racist or condescending judgments.
“EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW”-These words, written above the main entrance to the Supreme Court Building, express the ultimate responsibility of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court is the highest tribunal in the Nation for all cases and controversies arising under the Constitution or the laws of the United States. As the final arbiter of the law, the Court is charged with ensuring the American people the promise of equal justice under law and, thereby, also functions as guardian and interpreter of the Constitution.

Those racist remarks that SC Justice Scalia said are against everything that the Supreme Court and The United States Consitution stand for and is a reason for his impeachment.

SCOTUS liberal vs conservatives 2014

Vote Every Election

Vote Every Election

Let’s be very clear, while we’re tuning out and staying home on Election Day, other folks are tuning in.  Other folks are taking politics very seriously.  And they’re engaged on every level.  They’re raising money.  They’re making their voices heard –- and their issues known –- from City Hall to Washington, DC.  And I know that in the face of all of that money and influence, it can start to feel like ordinary citizens just can’t get a seat at the table.  And that can make you feel helpless and hopeless.  It can make you feel or think that you’re powerless.

But I’m here today because that’s simply not true.  We are not helpless or hopeless.  Time and again, history has shown us that there is nothing –- nothing -– more powerful than ordinary citizens coming together for a just cause.”

” I’m talking about the tireless, the thankless, relentless work of making change — you know, the phone-calling, letter-writing, door-knocking, meeting-planning kind of work.  That is the real work of democracy –- what happens during those quiet moments between the marches. ”

“That is how we carry on that precious legacy we’ve inherited — by recommitting ourselves to that day-to-day, vitally important work that has always paved the way for change in this country.

What does that mean?  That means being informed.  It means following the news, and learning about who’s representing us, and how our governments work.  It means showing up to vote — and not just every four years, but every year in every election.  It means engaging with the folks we elect, following how they vote and how they spend our hard-earned tax dollars.  And if you don’t like what you see, then let them know, or better yet, run for a seat at the table yourself.  ”

June 28, 2012 First Lady Michelle Obama at the AME Church Conference

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11 thoughts on “Racism is NOT Equal Justice Under The Law

  1. WH

    Friday, December 11, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama attends meetings at the White House

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    11:30 AM
    White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest briefs the press

    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • Scalia makes racially charged argument in affirmative-action case

      112/09/15 05:05 PM By Steve Benen – maddowblog

      About a month ago, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke to first-year law students at Georgetown, where he drew a parallel between gay people, pedophiles, and child abusers. What would he do for an encore?

      This morning, the high court heard oral arguments in a Texas case on affirmative action and the use of race in college admissions, and NBC News reported that Scalia “questioned whether some minority students are harmed by the policy because it helped them gain admittance to schools where they might not be able to academically compete.”

      At first blush, that sounds pretty racist, so let’s check the official transcript:

      “There are – there are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to ­­ to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less­-advanced school, a less – a slower-track school where they do well.

      “One of – one of the briefs pointed out that – that most of the – most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re – that they’re being pushed ahead in – in classes that are too ­­ too fast for them.”

      If we were to go out of our way to be charitable, I suppose we could emphasize the fact that Scalia prefaced these comments by saying “there are those who contend.” In other words, maybe the far-right justice himself isn’t making such an ugly argument, so much as the justice is referencing an offensive argument from unnamed others?

      It is, to be sure, a stretch. At no point did Scalia say he disagrees with “those who contend” that African-American students who struggle at good universities and are better off at “a slower-track school.”

      David Plouffe, a former aide to President Obama, highlighted Scalia’s quote this afternoon and asked a pertinent question: “Motivation lacking for 2016?”

      As for the case itself, Fisher v. Texas, which has been bouncing around for a long while, MSNBC’s Irin Carmon reported that the dispute stems from a complaint filed by Abigail Fisher, a white woman “who claims she was denied admission to the University of Texas because of her race, despite the fact that a lower court found she wouldn’t have been admitted regardless of her race.”

      And how did oral arguments go? Carmon added:

      The liberals worked to poke holes in the argument that Texas cannot put race on the list of holistic factors. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made the same point she had made the first time Fisher came to the court, which is that the supposedly “race-neutral” process of admitting the top 10 percent, which isn’t being challenged in this case, isn’t race-neutral at all, because it makes virtue out of a long history of school and housing segregation and discrimination. Justice Elena Kagan didn’t say a word, because she has recused herself, having worked on the case as solicitor general. Justice Sonia Sotomayor fiercely challenged Fisher’s attorneys.

      Meanwhile, three of the four most conservative members of the court reiterated that they oppose affirmative action and would overturn the court’s precedent that it is allowed as a last resort to promote educational diversity. Chief Justice John Roberts repeatedly asked when remedies to racial discrimination would no longer be needed. (Judging from his past decisions, he believes the time is now.) Justice Samuel Alito tried to argue that advocates for affirmative action are themselves making racist or condescending judgments.

      For more: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/scalia-makes-racially-charged-argument-affirmative-action-case

    • Why the 2016 Election Will Be One of the Most Pivotal Moments of Our Time

      Every four years the political parties describe the impending presidential election as a historic event – and every once in a while it’s true

      December 3, 2015 By Sean Wilentz – RollingStone

      More than 150 years ago, in 1858, as the national crisis over slavery heightened, Abraham Lincoln famously remarked that “a house divided against itself cannot stand,” and that the “crisis” would be “reached and passed” only when the house divided would “become all one thing or all the other.” Now, the long conflict over social equality, political democracy and American government that began during the Progressive era, followed by the New Deal and the Great Society, is reaching its inescapable conclusion. If the Republicans win the presidency in 2016, they will also almost inevitably control both the Senate and the House of Representatives, giving them virtually unfettered command over the entire federal government to go along with their domination of the great majority of the state governments. The Republican president could easily be in a position to appoint new justices to the Supreme Court for an unstoppable right-wing majority that would last for a generation to come. Bush v. Gore, Citizens United and Shelby County v. Holder (the 2013 ruling that greatly weakened the 1965 Voting Rights Act) would be merely the prelude to tilting political and social power. If, however, the Democrats win the presidency in 2016, they will almost certainly take back the Senate and make gains in the House – and the Democratic president will likely be able to appoint new justices to the Supreme Court that will eventually comprise a liberal majority. Between these two stark alternatives, there is no middle ground. In 2016, the country will become either one thing or the other.

      How did we arrive at this decisive moment? Two powerful historic developments have driven American politics over the past half century. The Republican Party has been transformed by a conservative movement that has pushed it ever further to the right. The Democratic Party, stunned by the conservative counterrevolution, has struggled to reinvent itself and its politics, while facing the increasingly formidable resources of the right. These shifts are responsible for the polarization and dysfunction that have gripped American government since the 1990s. But they began in 1968.

      Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/why-the-2016-election-will-be-one-of-the-most-pivotal-moments-of-our-time-20151203

    • A More Nuanced Breakdown of the Supreme Court

      JUNE 26, 2014 By HANNAH FAIRFIELD and ADAM LIPTAK – nytimes

      This is the time of year that the news media rolls out a familiar graphic: nine head shots of Supreme Court justices, arrayed from most liberal to most conservative.

      In spacing the head shots at equal intervals, the graphics suggest a steady procession from left to right. But the reality is a series of clusters, a few loners and several telling gaps.

      There is no dispute that the court has a four-member liberal wing and a four-member conservative wing, with Justice Anthony Kennedy somewhere in the middle.

      But not every liberal is liberal in the same measure. In the term that ended in June 2013, the three women on the court — Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — were tightly bunched on the left side of the array. They cast liberal votes around 70 percent of the time. Justice Stephen Breyer was substantially more conservative, casting liberal votes 59 percent of the time.

      Justice Kennedy is indeed smack-dab in the middle.

      The court’s conservative wing has two blocs separated by a slight gap. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justice Antonin Scalia were tied at about 44 percent. More to the right were Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito Jr.; they voted in a liberal direction around 40 percent of the time.

      What’s liberal and what’s conservative? Our conclusions are drawn from the Supreme Court Database, which codes decisions as liberal or conservative. Examples of liberal decisions are ones favoring criminal defendants, unions, people claiming discrimination or violations of their civil rights. Decisions striking down economic regulations and favoring prosecutors, employers and the government are said to be conservative.

      For more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/27/upshot/a-more-nuanced-breakdown-of-the-supreme-court.html?_r=0

    • Pelosi: Scalia should recuse himself from discrimination cases

      12/11/15 12:56 PM EST By LAUREN FRENCH – politico

      Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Antonin Scalia should recuse himself from any Supreme Court case focused on discrimination after the Supreme Court justice suggested this week that African-American students might benefit from attending “a slower-track school.”
      Scalia, who made the remarks during hearings on a case regarding affirmative action at the University of Texas, has been widely criticized by Democratic leaders. Some African-American leaders have suggested Scalia should remove himself from the specific case but Pelosi, speaking to a POLITICO reporter, went further and argued that he’s unfit to judge any discrimination case.

      “It’s so disappointing to hear that statement coming from a justice of the Supreme Court. It clearly shows a bias,” Pelosi said. “I think that the justice should recuse himself from any case that relates to discrimination in education, in voting, and I’m sorry that he made that comment.”

      Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/nancy-pelosi-antonin-scalia-216680

  2. Democratic leaders eye executive action on guns

    12/11/15 08:00AM By Steve Benen – maddoblog

    The national debate over gun policy can get pretty intense, but there’s one thing everyone can agree on: there’s effectively no chance congressional Republicans are going to approve new reforms. There are GOP majorities in both the House and Senate, and at least for now, there’s nothing anyone can say or do to sway them.

    And with that in mind, if anything is going to happen on this issue, changes will have to be made through executive actions from the White House, governors’ offices, or perhaps both. Yesterday, for example, as Rachel noted on last night’s show, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) unveiled a policy banning gun sales to those on federal no-fly watch lists. The Associated Press reported:

    The Democratic governor said that his order would make Connecticut the first state to do so and that state officials are working with the federal government to get access to the lists.

    “If you cannot fly due to being on a government watch list, you should not be able to purchase a firearm while on that watch list as well,” Malloy told reporters at the Capitol. “This is basic common sense. The American people get it.” […] Malloy said the executive order would deny the issuing of gun permits, which may be appealed to a firearm review board.

    The news out of Connecticut coincided with word from the White House that President Obama’s team is “finalizing a proposal that would expand background checks on gun sales — without congressional approval.” White House press briefing on Thursday, Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters yesterday, “These are essentially recommendations that the president has asked for from his staff based on their review of available executive authority.”

    Without more information, it’s obviously too soon to give the administration’s pending order any real scrutiny, but Malloy’s move in Connecticut is emblematic of where Democrats are headed on the issue. Party officials seem to recognize that as controversial as the gun debate can be, measures intended to prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns is the kind of idea the American mainstream will likely support.

    Read more: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/democratic-leaders-eye-executive-action-guns#break

  3. December 11, 2015

    American Campuses Act on Climate

    On November 19th, 2015, the White House launched American Campuses Act on Climate (ACAC) initiative to amplify the voice of the higher-ed community in support of a strong international climate agreement in the United Nations COP21 climate negotiations in Paris. The launch included a White House roundtable with campus and business leaders, including school presidents and students, to highlight best practices to promote sustainability and address climate change on college campuses. Additionally, a live-streamed conversation with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy also energized young people to achieve ambitious climate goals on their campuses and push for increased global action.

    As of December 10, 318 colleges and universities representing over 4 million students have demonstrated their commitment by joining the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge. Modeled on the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, it complements any previous pledges or commitments institutions might have already. The pledge reads:

    “As institutions of higher education, we applaud the progress already made to promote clean energy and climate action as we seek a comprehensive, ambitious agreement at the upcoming United Nations Climate Negotiations in Paris. We recognize the urgent need to act now to avoid irreversible costs to our global community’s economic prosperity and public health and are optimistic that world leaders will reach an agreement to secure a transition to a low carbon future. Today our school pledges to accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy while enhancing sustainable and resilient practices across our campus.”

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/12/11/american-campuses-act-climate

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