Racial Preferences and the Constitution Essay

Racial Preferences and the Constitution Essay

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Racial Preferences and the Constitution


The Constitution has survived two World Wars, a Civil War, and even slavery. This piece of paper was written to limit government in our lives and proclaim our rights as individuals. Through the course of time, Amendments have been added to aid in current events that were not foreseen when the Constitution was originally written. Sixteen presidents after the Constitution was written, slavery was abolished and the Thirteenth Amendment was passed.. Three years later came the Equal Protection clause in the Fourteenth Amendment and two years after that, the Supreme Court addressed voting rights in the Fifteenth Amendment.

          The decisions in Plessy and Brown are similar because of how the decisions affect the group instead of the individuals. The Court is continually ruling in regard to race instead of the individual. If the Constitution is truly color blind, then we would not have these distinctions between classes when the rulings are made. Each ruling by the Court should be done on an individual basis and by the merits of that particular individual instead of the color of ones skin. The only reason the court rules in favor of Brown is because the implications go beyond just the individual affected, the ruling will affect the entire black race. The effects of the Brown case go a lot further than the immediate case.

     After the states had failed to integrate blacks and whites in society, the Federal Government stepped up to end this atrocity. For years and years citizens in each state have attempted to forgo the three Amendments mentioned previously. In each case the Courts have attempted to use Harlan's dissenting opinion in Plessy as their guide to uphold this "color blind Constitution."

     In recent cases concerning racial preferences, the Supreme Court, largely under the leadership of Justice O'Connor, has articulated a new doctrine concerning the constitutionality of governmental racial classifications under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court has determined, after twenty five years of debate, that the most stringent standard of review applies to all such classifications, even those intended to benefit rather than to burden historically disadvantaged minorities. This standard has been applied to racial preference programs in employment, state and federal ...


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... Bakke v. Regents of the University of California also previously mentioned. In each case we are dealing with issues that supposedly were put to a halt with the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. The Constitution continues to help some people and hinder others. Still over a hundred years later, we are still having conflicting results and are still referring to Harlan's dissenting opinion about a color blind Constitution.

     Every time the Supreme Court rules in favor of one thing the equal protection pendulum swings the other way just enough to inflict color on this color blind Constitution. Will the Constitution ever be color blind? One day when every race is mixed together and no one can claim that they are solely of one particular ethnic origin is when this color blind Constitution will occur. There are too many prejudice groups in society to say that the Constitution will soon be clearly color blind. I think the Supreme Court has an intent to make color blind decisions without understanding the inevitable outcome. The pendulum has to be in the middle for a color blind decision to be made. Any time you make an exception for one group, there is another group being affected.

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