“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race,” Roberts said.
That’s Chief Justice Roberts ruling on a school segregation case. Hard to argue with that, unless you admit that discrimination is good in some cases, and bad in others, which admittedly some proponents do. But on the other hand, arguing for a color-blind society doesn’t allow you to discriminate at all.
Justice Thomas concurred.
“What was wrong in 1954 cannot be right today,” he said. “The plans before us base school assignment decisions on students’ race. Because ‘our Constitution is colorblind and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens,’ such race-based decision making is unconstitutional.”
One of the alternatives, rightly pointed out by the defense, is income-based discrimination.
Civil rights leaders, trying to make the best of the decision, said Kennedy’s opinion, when combined with the four dissenters, showed that a majority of the justices support the continuing use of race-conscious measures to integrate public schools.
School districts that have plans that resemble the ones struck down by the court are expected to look for other ways to make their schools racially balanced without specifically relying on race. One possibility is using family income since blacks are more likely than whites to be poor.
Seems a bit more fair…