Are African-Americans still protected by equal protection?
conlawprof at YAHOO.COM
Fri Sep 8 08:52:30 PDT 2000
Andy asks whether the Equal Protection Clause still
protects African-Americans or whether it currently
protects only whites against Affirmative Action
I assume no one on this list doubts that a "whites
only" scholarship at a public university would be
struck down without a dissent as a denial of equal
protection. Similarly, an admissions program that gave
*white* students a large plus would be DOA in the
courts under the Equal Protection Clause. Why aren't
these cases showing up in the reporters? Because the
state does not operate "whites only" scholarships or
provide racial preferences in admissions to whites.
Nor do we have 10% set aside programs benefitting,
say, Irish-American contractors seeking government
contracts. The only racial classifications that I am
aware of in today's world are those that benefit
non-whites; thus, the Equal Protection cases deal with
these kinds of racial classifications and not with
racial classifications that no longer exist.
--- Andrew Koppelman <akoppelman at NWU.EDU> wrote:
> I'm teaching fourteenth amendment this term, and am
> trying to remember what
> the last case is in which an African-American
> plaintiff successfully
> claimed that a state was unconstitutionally
> discriminating on the basis of
> race. My guess is that it was Batson v. Kentucky in
> 1986, and I can't even
> guess what the last one was before that. Am I
> correct? I suppose that
> there are also some school desegregation cases in
> which the lower court's
> decree was upheld. But my impression is that most
> of the work that the
> equal protection clause now does in the world is to
> protect white people
> from affirmative action programs.
> I'd like to have the views of this list's members,
> but am doubtful whether
> this is worth starting an on-list thread over.
> There are issues of
> constitutional law, but they are likely to be
> tediously familiar to
> everyone. I just want to get the facts straight.
> Eugene, can you offer
> some guidance on this? But I'd be very grateful for
> off-list responses.
> Andrew Koppelman
> Associate Professor of Law and Political Science
> Northwestern University School of Law
> 357 East Chicago Avenue
> Chicago, IL 60611-3069
> (312) 503-8431
> mailto:akoppelman at northwestern.edu
Rick Duncan (conlawprof at yahoo.com)
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