By Eugene J. Koprowski, Esq.
July 6, 2011
Some progressive judges now believe that equal treatment under the law is, so to speak, unconstitutional. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over the Midwestern states of Michigan and Ohio, as well as the Mid-South states of Kentucky and Tennessee, last week quashed a 2006 law which amended Michigan's state constitution and banned racial discrimination and preferences in government contracts, and other areas.
Racial discrimination is against the federal Constitution, and has been since the aftermath of the Civil War, in the 1860s, when slavery was banned. These federal laws were updated more than 40 years ago. But Michigan made the next logical step with its new law, ending affirmative action, started by LBJ during the 1960s, on the premise that enough time had passed and that preferences for previously discriminated-against groups were no longer necessary. After all, we have a black president, and we're the first Western democracy ever to be able to make that claim. We also the first black GOP chairman from 2009-2011, and a black woman as secretary of state from 2005-2009 and a black man as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff 20 years ago.
But the appeals court's sophisticated liberals definitely disagreed with the plausible stance that it is time to move on from racial preferences. In last week's 2-to-1 ruling, the judges stated the Michigan constitutional amendment violated the U.S. Constitution's "equal protection clause" by ending racial and gender preferences. Yes, you read that correctly. In order to have equality, in the minds of these urbane judges, Michigan (and other states) must discriminate.
This is remarkably similar reasoning to that shown by the morally corrupt U.S. Army officer, quoted in A Bright Shining Lie, the excellent, Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the Vietnam War, that troops had to destroy a particular village in order to save it. In other words, it is completely unreasonable.
Not surprisingly, the two judges who voted to overturn the Michigan law were appointed by President Bill Clinton, whom at one time used to self-righteously, and self-deceptively, claim he was the first "black" president of the U.S. The lone dissenting judge was appointed by a Republican. The case is called, Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action v. Regents of the University of Michigan.
This is what we get from today's version of the left's best and the brightest – utter nonsense.
"The ruling contradicts common sense — how can the Equal Protection Clause require that people be treated unequally? — and turns the Constitution upside down," Hans Bader, a lawyer at the Conservative Enterprise Institute (CEI), a think tank in Washington D.C., tells me. The ruling also contradicts multiple prior court rulings over the years.
Fourteen years ago, a similar state constitutional amendment in California, known as Proposition 209 , was upheld by the notoriously progressive Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the well-known case Coalition for Economic Equity v. Wilson. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to overturn that ruling.
According to Bader, the Sixth Circuit's "bizarre" ruling last week that equality is a violation of equal protection law will hurt taxpayers by adding to the cost of government contracts. All races pay more when government contracts are granted based on race, rather than awarded to the bidder with the best price.
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One wonders just what is next from the extreme liberals on the federal bench. Will they declare the U.S. Constitution, as a whole, unconstitutional, and substitute their own strange notions in its stead, rather than proceeding as they are now on a clause by clause, and case by case, basis with the founding document of our Republic? Thomas Jefferson once said that liberty is gained by inches. But, were he alive today, he would ruefully note that we are losing ground by the yard in the fight for freedom every day.
© 2011 Eugene J. Koprowski, Esq. - All Rights Reserved
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Eugene J. Koprowski is founder of Conservative Young Guns Interactive, a digital political advertising agency, with offices in Washington D.C. and Chicago, which aims to keep the grassroots pressure from the Tea Party movement on the GOP through the 2012 election and beyond. He holds a law degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, a master's degree from the University of Chicago, and completed his undergraduate work at Northwestern University. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Koprowski earned an Emmy Award Nomination in 2008 from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) for his work for FoxNews.com..
See some of his opinion pieces/columns for Fox News.