Thursday, April 24, 2014

Confirming that Sotomayor was a bad choice for the high court

(My new American Thinker post)

The Supreme Court correctly decided the Michigan higher education racial preferences case. The 6-2 decision reaffirmed two important principles:

1) Let voters decide these issues.  There is no evidence that these voters in Michigan want to take minorities back to the 19th century or any other century. Also, my guess is that some minorities voted for the referendum, too. So let's respect voters. 

2) Why should race be a factor in college admissions anyway?  Are you telling me that minority kids can not survive in the real world without government programs?

The 6-2 decision included a dissent that confirmed why so many of us thought that Justice Sotomayor was a bad choice for The Supreme Court. Her long dissent was more of a "rant" than any outline of legal principles,as reported by The Washington Post:
"In her most personal moment in 41 /2 years on the court, Sotomayor read part of her dissent from the bench to emphasize her disagreement with six colleagues who upheld Michigan’s constitutional amendment banning the consideration of race in public university admissions.
It is a 58-page dissent, longer than the combined efforts of four other justices who wrote.
The court’s first Latina justice directly took on Roberts’s view that the nation’s continued reliance on racial classifications hinders rather than promotes the goal of a color-blind society.  
Sotomayor noted Roberts’s famous statement in a 2007 opinion that “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”   
Too simplistic, she said.   
“This refusal to accept the stark reality that race matters is regrettable,” Sotomayor wrote.
“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.”  
She added: “As members of the judiciary tasked with intervening to carry out the guarantee of equal protection, we ought not sit back and wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society.”  
Roberts responded with a short, sharp statement of his own.  
“To disagree with the dissent’s views on the costs and benefits of racial preferences is not to ‘wish away, rather than confront’ racial inequality,” Roberts wrote.   
“People can disagree in good faith on this issue, but it similarly does more harm than good to question the openness and candor of those on either side of the debate.”
The judges got this one right.  They respected the voters and that is really refreshing.

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Sometimes there is something "nice" in the news!

Like most of you, I often get depressed following the news.   Once in a while, there is a story that puts a smile in your face, or maybe a tear in your eye.

Check this story about a letter, a Korean War soldier and a sweetheart back home:
"A couple of years ago, Sandi Blood of Murrells Inlet, S.C., purchased a pile of paperbacks at a used bookstore in the next town.
 When she opened one of her “fictional beach reads,” she said a letter slipped out. For years, it had been lost inside the pages.The yellowed envelope was dated November 1951. It was one of those red, white and blue air-mailed envelopes, she said, with an Army/Air Force Postal Service postmark and a 6-cent stamp still stuck to the corner. And it was sent from a “G. LeBlanc.”
 According to the soldier’s account, this letter must have been special. LeBlanc said soldiers in those days were poorly equipped, rarely having access to paper. Typically, a soldier who wrote one, scribbled it on the back of one he had received. Not this one.
 “Honey you can’t realize how much I love you and think and dream about being with you,” he wrote. ”It’s hurting me all over.”
 After Blood read it, she had tried to find the owner. She sent letters to a few potentials but she never got any responses. Then last week, she stumbled upon the letter again. This time, she turned to social media and the local news to help her, she said.
 One of Blood’s Facebook friends responded, saying that her mother is a genealogist. Blood provided the soldier’s name and military ID and, within minutes, they had found the now 83-year-old veteran in a suburb of Detroit.

Blood gave him a call.
 At the end of his tour, LeBlanc came home for a 30-day leave and married his sweetheart, he told WPDE NewsChannel 15.    
U.S. Army Pvt. Gilles LeBlanc wrote the three-page letter to his girlfriend, Carole Petch, in Toronto, Ontario, telling her he had just arrived at Camp Drake in Japan and was waiting for orders to report to Korea. He also wrote about their future wedding — in handwriting still intact on a type of vellum paper that’s so see-through that a writer could only use one side.
“We talked for quite a while. I was dumbfounded that the damn letter fell out of the book,” LeBlanc told The Washington Post. He said all the other letters he wrote her from the war are neatly tied together with a piece of string. “I’m just a romantic that’s all.”
The couple had six kids. They were married 22 years. And they later got divorced in the 1970s.
One of LeBlanc’s daughters, Paula Gillies, 50, said her mother used to vacation in Garden City and the family thinks the letter was tucked inside a novel that was among a pile of old books she brought to the South Carolina shop to exchange.
Blood said her Facebook friend and the friend’s mother, who is the genealogist, will soon hand-deliver the letter to LeBlanc when they go to visit relatives a town away from his. Blood said, “It should find its way back to where it belongs.”
“That’s as sweet as hell,” LeBlanc said."
What a great story.   

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