Never in the history of the court…

Today the Supreme Court “struck down public school choice plans in Seattle,
Washington, and Louisville, Kentucky, concluding they relied on an
unconstitutional use of racial criteria…”

CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin described the scene at the Supreme Court today…

TOOBIN: Boy, Tony, 15 minutes ago the Supreme Court was at
war with itself in a drama that is rarely seen inside that room. You
had two justices basically shouting out, not literally, but talking
about the very premises of what it means to be an American. That was
what was at stake in the court today. And the drama and the anger and
the passion was something that’s rarely seen in that courtroom.

Justice John Roberts saying that the students who didn’t get — the
white students who didn’t get the school of their choice in Louisville
and Seattle were equivalent to the black students in Brown v. Board of
Education who were denied access to integrated schools in Topeka,
Kansas. [Justice] Stephen Breyer responding, “You have got to be
kidding me, that the efforts in good faith of these schools in
Louisville and Seattle to integrate their schools, to make sure that
there’s diversity, how dare you compare that to the discrimination of
Jim Crow?” It was a fascinating illustration of just how divided this
court is at this point.


This is a decision that says school districts
cannot use any racially — racial factors to decide how to assign kids.
This is a victory for conservatives. Justice Breyer used a phrase,
“Never in the history of the court have so few done so much so
And he was talking about Chief Justice Roberts and Justice
[Samuel] Alito making this court a far more conservative institution in
just one year. And at that phrase, “And never have so few done so much
so quickly,” both Justice Alito and Chief Justice Roberts looked over
at Breyer and went, whoa, that’s pretty personal by the standards of
the Supreme Court. (my emphasis)

Sad day

Justice Breyer’s dissenting opinion is HERE

UPDATE: Pete Williams of NBC News reported, in something that is quite rare for the court, Justice Beyers took 21 minutes to read his dissenting opinion

6 thoughts on “Never in the history of the court…

  1. Thank you, Joe Lieberman. Thank you, NARAL.
    I’m not forgetting this. You are both, politically speaking, dead to me.

  2. Okay, I’ve brought this up on other blogs, but never got a satisfactory answer. Both Roberts and Alito were asked about stare decisis in their confirmation hearings. They were both under oath at the time. Both of them said that they would respect precedent and they would not lightly overrule settled law.
    They then got onto the court and have proceeded to overrule one precedent after another, without even the pretense of intellectual honesty. In one case, the precedent was only four years old and the circumstances of the two cases were close to identical.
    Did they commit perjury before the Senate? Is this grounds for impeachment?
    I don’t expect impeachment to happen now. I don’t expect it to happen during the Bush Administration, frankly, and I would MUCH rather see Cheney impeached than any Supreme Court Justices, even the odious Roberts and the more odious Alito.
    But there has to be a way to stop these people. Seriously, both of them are fairly young and in a position to wreak havoc on America for DECADES to come.

  3. I’m sure this will brand me as a moderate on this list. I grew up in Atlanta during its forced desegregation. I definitely get that resources were inequitably applied to different schools and this **HAD** to be remedied. But I’ve also seen the bad effects of desegregation of students being on buses for an hour when they could be at a neighborhood school (a proven concept in education) in 10 minutes.
    But I also see in my home state a gigantic battle on how schools are awarded funds in an (in?)equitable manner.
    So while I am not totally sold that race should be the key factor (althouth exposure to different subcultures is also a positive thing) – knowing how funds are inequitably applied and are even more likely to be inequitably applied based on race and/or socioeconomic factors:
    How then are we to come up with a formula that guarantees that the various schools receive a fair and equitable source of funding????

  4. the robert’s court is bush’s enduring legacy of divisiveness among Americans and callousness towards the average American.

  5. Excuse me? What’s the big deal about busing some kids to school? Maple Street is talking about this like it’s some huge hardship, which is particularly the part that confuses me about the whole thing. I grew up rural in Canada, and nobody I knew didn’t get bused to school. When I was in high school, I lived at the furthest edge of the attendance district for my school, and was on a bus for 45 minutes each way, five days a week. It really isn’t that big of a deal from an inconvenience standpoint, sorry…
    I’d wager, too, that a lot of the same people who complain about this kind of thing are probably also the same people who buy houses way in the middle of nowhere suburbs and don’t think anything of commuting two hours each way to their downtown jobs…

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