Mocking the Civil Rights Act

By Roberts, Paul Craig | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 3, 1996 | Go to article overview

Mocking the Civil Rights Act


Roberts, Paul Craig, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


In our book, "The New Color Line," published one year ago, Lawrence Stratton and I predicted that the California Civil Rights Initiative would easily pass in our most populous, diverse and multicultural state and that a federal judge would set aside the vote of the citizens. Both events have come to pass. On Nov. 5, the CCRI passed - despite a campaign of lies and smears against it by "civil rights" and feminist groups - and on Nov. 17 federal district Judge Thelton Henderson, a left-wing liberal appointed by Jimmy Carter, issued a temporary restraining order that blocks Gov. Pete Wilson from enforcing the will of the people.

The California Civil Rights Initiative, or Proposition 209, is modeled on the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It is a response to the widespread race and gender quotas, illegal under the 1964 Act and unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment, that have resulted in group rights crowding out individual rights. The California Civil Rights Initiative prohibits discrimination against everyone on the basis of race or gender, which is the reason Judge Henderson does not like it.

Forty-two years ago, the federal judiciary turned in their law books and became social engineers. In the 1954 Supreme Court decision, Brown vs. Board of Education, the judiciary seized the legislative power and began reconstructing American society according to its own lights - equality of outcomes. By the 1970s, federal judges had made a mockery of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by permitting lawsuits against companies that did not have "voluntary" racial quotas, even though the quotas were themselves illegal under the Civil Rights Act.

Race and gender quotas also became the norm in university admissions. White students, especially white males - today have to have far higher scores than "preferred minorities" in order to gain admission. It is this widespread system of reverse discrimination that the CCRI targeted.

If the U.S. Constitution's requirement that individuals be equal under the law still applies, Judge Henderson is certain to be overruled by an appeals court or the Supreme Court. However, over the past four decades, federal judges and law schools have done much to change the meaning of equality.

Traditionally, equality has meant the absence of legal privileges that give preferred groups more rights than nonpreferred groups. For example, a son or daughter of a successful, wealthy or well-connected family, if possessed of ability and self-discipline, would have an easier climb to a professional career than the son or daughter from a poor family. …

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