We the People: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Supreme Court

By Michael J. Perry | Go to book overview

4
The Fourteenth Amendment and Race:
Segregation and Affirmative Action

The most important initiative undertaken by the Supreme Court of the United States in the period since the end of World War II was its effort, most famously in the seminal case of Brown v. Board of Education ( 1954), 1 to abolish governmental racism: racist laws and other kinds of racist governmental action, including policies aimed at creating and/or maintaining racial segregation. ( Charles Black described Brown as "the decision that opened our era of judicial activity." 2) Was the Supreme Court's effort to abolish governmental racism justified by any constitutional norm (or norms) established by "We the people of the United States"? If some aspects of constitutional doctrine forbidding governmental racism are not justified by any such norm, are they justified nonetheless -- that is, justified as constitutional doctrine -- on some other basis? Or was the Court's effort to abolish governmental racism an instance of "the judicial usurpation of politics"?

One of the most controversial initiatives undertaken by the Supreme Court in the contemporary period is its effort to restrict the extent to which government may rely on policies of race-based "affirmative action": policies that, to ameliorate the present effects of past racist acts and/or for some other, nonracist reason (e.g., to increase the racial diversity and hence overall effectiveness of an urban police department), give a preference -- in hiring, for example, or in admission to a state university -- to members of a racial minority. Is the Court's effort to restrict reliance by government on race-based affirmative action -- is the Court's erecting high barriers to such reliance -- justified by any constitutional norm established by "We the people of the United States"? If not, is contemporary constitutional doctrine restricting government reliance on affirmative action justified nonetheless -- justified as a constitutional doctrine -- on some other basis? Or is its effort to restrict government reliance on affirmative action an instance of the Court's usurpation of our politics?

To forestall misunderstanding, two clarifications are in order. First, I do not mean to suggest that the Court's effort to abolish governmental racism has been as thoroughgoing as it could have been. Undeniably, the

-88-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
We the People: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Supreme Court
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 280

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.