In Affirmative Action Ruling, Black Justices Take Aim at Each Other
The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected affirmative action at colleges and universities around the nation through its ruling.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times
While Justices Clarence Thomas and Ketanji Brown Jackson seemed to have a common sense on the goal of the policy but they both reacted with a harsh critique of their respective conclusions about how to proceed.In an unimaginable exchange which was played out between the pages of an important ruling by the Supreme Court declaring race-conscious admissions in universities and colleges across the country illegal Two Black justices debated the legality of affirmative action.
With sharp and incisive rebuttals Justices Clarence Thomas and Ketanji Brown Jackson slammed their respective views, revealing the deep differences and passions Americans feel about the issue. While they seemed to be in agreement over the policy’s goal — resolving the discrimination and segregation that has been a long-standing issue in the lives of Black Americans — they came to different conclusions about how and what should be done.
Both justices were born in the same way by Black families who were afflicted by Jim Crow and segregation They both were accepted to top law institutions (Justice Jackson from Harvard, Justice Thomas to Yale) prior to becoming a member of Supreme Court. Supreme Court. However, their understanding of the law as well as their views of affirmative action as well as its significance on American lives are not that far apart.
In his concurring opinion Justice Thomas called out Justice Jackson direct in a lengthy review, focusing on her opinions on race while making broader critiques of the liberal backing of affirmative action.
“As she sees things, we are all inexorably trapped in a fundamentally racist society, with the original sin of slavery and the historical subjugation of Black Americans still determining our lives today,” the author wrote.
In her dissent Justice Jackson pointedly pushed back by denying his assertions as an “prolonged attack” that responded “to an opinion I wrote not for the purpose of defending the admissions process that’s not one the U.N.C. is constructing.”
The two didn’t disagree about the historical or factual basis of discrimination based on race within the United States, but that they reached completely differing conclusion. Justice Thomas “is somehow persuaded that these realities have no bearing on a fair assessment of ‘individual achievement,” she wrote. She also said that Justice Thomas “ignites too many more straw men to list, or fully extinguish.”
The responses of the participants in reality resulted in a battle over the long-lasting impact of the legacy of racism and discrimination and also how to best address the issue.
Justice Thomas castigated Justice Jackson’s affirmative action support and described affirmative action as a panacea in which the society will “unquestioningly accede to the view of elite experts and reallocate society’s riches by racial means as necessary to ‘level the playing field.'”
While he admitted the fact that “our society is not, and has never been, colorblind,” Justice Jackson viewed the disparities in wealth in the United States between Black as well as white Americans “constitutionally irrelevant.” As Justice Jackson viewed it his words, “almost all of life’s outcomes may be unhesitatingly ascribed to race.”
Then he drew attention to an issue that has been a constant theme in his speeches and writings through the years his frustration with Black people who were portrayed as victimized.
The president rebuked statistics that show families of whites make significantly more than the typical Black family, and argued that these figures depict Black people as one-dimensional.
“This lore is not and has never been true,” the author wrote. “Even in the segregated South where I grew up, individuals were not the sum of their skin color.”
The book was written in 2016 written by Thomas Sowell who is an economist, and well-known Black conservative who has been influential on Justice Thomas’s philosophies as well as claimed that Justice Jackson of using “broad observations about statistical relationships between race and select measures of health, wealth and well-being to label all Blacks as victims.”
He added “I cannot deny the great accomplishments of Black Americans, including those who succeeded despite long odds.”
Justice Jackson’s view was, as he stated, to perpetuate Black people trapped in “a seemingly perpetual inferior caste.” He described it as “an insult to individual achievement and cancerous to young minds seeking to push through barriers, rather than consign themselves to permanent victimhood.”
He further wrote in the article that she had been drawing upon “race-based stereotypes,” when actually “all racial groups are heterogeneous, and Blacks are no exception — encompassing Northerners and Southerners, rich and poor, and recent immigrants and descendants of slaves.”
Through “articulating her black-and-white world (literally),” the author said, Justice Jackson ignored the experience of different groups such as Chinese immigrants, the descendants of Holocaust survivors, and people who immigrated into America from Ireland. United States from Ireland, to escape hunger.
Justice Jackson pushed back sharply in a spirited battle with Justice Thomas, accusing him of misinterpreting her views and misunderstanding the underlying reasons for her belief in the policy.
“Gulf-sized race-based gaps exist with respect to the health, wealth and well-being of American citizens,” she said. Even though these gaps were discovered many years ago, she wrote by ignoring the fact that they have occurred in history is a mistake since these inequities are “indisputably been passed down to the present day through the generations.”
In his brief introduction to Jim Crow and the Great Migration, Justice Jackson laid out the way Black families battled against the legal system designed to stop them from gaining money — while focusing on the courage and determination that they displayed.
“Despite these barriers, Black people persisted,” she noted.
She referred to the paradox of the pink elephant, which is the notion that if you stop thinking about something, it’s difficult to forget about the subject. “The takeaway is that those who demand that no one think about race (a classic pink-elephant paradox) refuse to see, much less solve for, the elephant in the room — the race-linked disparities that continue to impede achievement of our great nation’s full potential.”