All posts filed under: The Supremes

Affirmative Action for White Kids?

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Democracy's Constitution / Repairing The Systen / The Supremes

A recent lawsuit against Harvard College alleges that its admissions procedures covertly discriminate against Asian-American candidates.  This lawsuit has national importance because the admission procedures at Harvard are very much like those used at other elite schools.  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/02/us/harvard-trial-college-admissions.html?ref=oembed Discovery in  the case has revealed that there is more than one path to admission to Harvard College. There is the official  procedure that looks at a whole raft of factors (including race) in  judging candidates in […]

Saving the Supremes

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Democracy's Constitution / The Supremes

I was recently complaining to a friend about the Republican party’s successful efforts to politicize the Supreme Court, efforts culminating in the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.  The “Federalist Five”– Thomas, Alito, Roberts, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh– are expected to provide  a right wing majority for the foreseeable future. My friend surprised me by noting  that my criticisms sounded like  “sour grapes;” he wondered if I would be equally outraged if the Democrats had been clever enough […]

The Psychology of Equal Protection

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Repairing The Systen / The Supremes

A  brotherly difference of opinion about cake portions  presents the  same type of  issue that the Supreme Court will soon decide in an important  case. They both involve examples of inequity. Nicholas Kristoff  reports  that scientists have found that monkeys  are very sensitive to   unequal treatment.  If you give one monkey  tastier food, the others resent it. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/03/opinion/sunday/what-monkeys-can-teach-us-about-fairness.html?_r=0   But Kristoff  also gives us a lot of examples of situations where humans protest  unequal […]

A Wise Latina

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Democracy's Constitution / Heroes / The Supremes

Sonia Sotomayor has been a different kind of Supreme Court justice from the beginning.   At her confirmation hearing, instead of putting the Senate committee to sleep with platitudes, she told a male Senator that she thought a “wise Latina” might  have some valuable insights to offer in constitutional discussions. Then she ignored the  tradition for first term justices  to be  seen but not heard by  immediately joining in the colloquies  with counsel  during oral […]