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The Politics of Paternalism
American Spectator ^ | 6.26.13 | ALLEN MENDENHALL

Posted on 06/27/2013 11:09:45 PM PDT by neverdem

Monday’s Supreme Court opinion on affirmative action will be remembered only for Justice Thomas’ sharp concurrence.

The Supreme Court opinion everyone is buzzing about — Monday’s decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, a case involving that school’s affirmative action program — will not be monumental in our canons of jurisprudence.

The petitioner, Abigail Noel Fisher, a young white woman, applied to the university in 2008 and was denied admission. She challenged the decision, arguing that she would have been admitted under a colorblind system. The high court has now remanded the case back to the Fifth Circuit, holding that the lower court failed to properly ascertain whether the affirmative action program was the most narrowly tailored means to achieve the university’s diversity goal. In legal terms, the Fifth Circuit had failed to subject the program to “strict scrutiny.” Thus, additional litigation lies ahead; the case is not even over.

What will be remembered from Monday’s proceedings, though, is Justice Thomas’ concurrence, which treats affirmative action as paternalism — a word he implies but doesn’t use explicitly, at least not here.

The dichotomies “liberal” versus “conservative,” “left” versus “right,” complicate rather than clarify issues such as affirmative action. A better choice of words, if a dichotomy must be maintained, is “paternalism” versus “non-paternalism.” Viewing diversity in this light, as Justice Thomas does, enables us to understand and appreciate the forms that racism and discrimination take.

Those forms often are paternalistic: Person A assumes to understand the plight of person X and undertakes to care for and control him as a father would his children. Even if X were one day to achieve relative equality with A in real terms — opportunity, education, earning capacity — this dominance would persist so long as A views X as a needy...

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TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: fisher
Justice Thomas’ concurrence
1 posted on 06/27/2013 11:09:45 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Supreme Court opinions based on the Constitution are becoming very rare and will eventually go the way of the dodo bird. America has lost its way.

We have a very few left serving in the Supreme Court that actually read and believe our Constitution but they are soon to be replaced by those that have their own agendas. Unfortunately the masses don’t understand nor care about the loss.

2 posted on 06/27/2013 11:19:32 PM PDT by Deagle (quo)
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To: Deagle
What grinds me most is how senators consent to seating judges hostile to the 10th Amendment. Constitutionally, it doesn't make sense.
3 posted on 06/28/2013 2:42:02 AM PDT by Jacquerie (To restore the 10th Amendment, repeal the 17th.)
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