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Book: Best Opinions of the Supreme Court of the United States (Vol. I: Race) by Henry Mark Holzer

Book: Best Opinions of the Supreme Court of the United States (Vol. I: Race) by Henry Mark Holzer

categories: Book, Race, Dissent, Clarence Thomas, Racial Preferences, Affirmative Action, Slavery, Negro, Minorities, Diversity, Achievement, Prejudice, Supreme Court

Henry Mark Holzer

Author Henry Mark Holzerabout this book: In fairness, when one argues that something is "best" it behooves him or her to explain what criteria is used to reach that conclusion.

With its roots in the Declaration of Independence,the Constitution of the United States of America and subsequent Bill of Rights were designed to implement the principles of individual rights, limited government, free markets, and national sovereignty. In the constitutional law context, Supreme Court decisions upholding these principles are "best."

The meaning of each provision in the Constitution and Bill of Rights was to be ascertained, ultimately, by the Supreme Court of the United States. This task was to be performed using the litmus paper of what the actual words said (e.g. the requirement that the President be at least 35 years old when elected)or, if they were ambiguous, what they meant to the Founders who wrote them and their contemporary culture.

Instead, in too much Supreme Court jurisprudence these interpretive principles have been thwarted. The subject of race is a good (actually bad) example. In the Plessy case the Court upheld "separate but equal"; in Korematsu the Court upheld relocation of Japanese-Americans during World War II; in Runyon the Court held constitutional the requirement that one must make a contract with someone with whom he had racial animus; in Fullilove the Court approved the use of race in federal contracts; and in Grutter it OKd affirmative action in higher education.

But in each of these cases there were dissents. Opinions by justices whose fealty to the Constitution was not overcome by popular notions of what constitutes racial discrimination. These dissents are reproduced here, with my explanatory annotations.

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