Do you ever hear something that gets you thinking? It’s happened to me after hearing a presentation by Marcia Coyle, Washington Bureau Chief and Supreme Court correspondent for The National Law Review. She’s covered the Supreme Court for 25 years and written extensively about its decisions. Her stories were interesting and entertaining, but she made a couple of points that have me pondering.
Ms. Coyle’s opinion is that the decisions made by the court in the near future will have far reaching effect in that they will have more to do with social issues rather than with challenges to power as in recent cases concerning Obamacare and Arizona’s immigration law. A case in point is Fisher vs. University of Texas which has received national attention and certainly is a topic of conversation around these parts. The question, of course, involves affirmative action.
There is a case to be made for affirmative action when one considers the intent was to create diversity and take race out of the selection process. Has it worked? Ask different people and you’ll get different answers, but, obviously, Ms. Fisher felt that the University of Texas discriminated against her because of her race. Now she has challenged the university’s selection process and her case has landed in front of the Supreme Court, once again making race an issue of national concern.
How this case got to the Supreme Court is in itself amazing to me after hearing Ms. Doyle say that roughly 2% of submitted cases ever make it. So, I wonder, what makes the Fisher issue so special? And whatever decision the Court makes, will it be the right one? I suspect there will be ramifications no matter what because of the deep political division in this country. Some folks will say hooray while others will feel that politics played too big a part in the decision.
As for me, I have to continue thinking about affirmative action and whether or not it has run it’s course. My idealistic self believes that all of us should have the same opportunity regardless of color or sex provided the required standards are met. I know from personal experience, however, that is not always how it happens.
When it comes to social issues, I’m very glad not to be sitting on the Supreme Court. How about you?
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