Begrudging Respect

I disagree with almost every decision Justice Scalia has made, whether in dissent or writing for a majority decision, but goddamn if the man isn’t the funniest justice writing on the Court today. The bastard is starting to grow on me…

The “educational benefit” that the University of Michigan seeks to achieve by racial discrimination consists, according to the Court, of “cross-racial understanding,” and “better prepar[ation of] students for an increasingly diverse workforce and society,” all of which is necessary not only for work, but also for good “citizenship.” This is not, of course, an “educational benefit” on which students will be graded on their Law School transcript (Works and Plays Well with Others: B+) or tested by the bar examiners (Q: Describe in 500 words or less your cross-racial understanding). For it is a lesson of life rather than law — essentially the same lesson taught to (or rather learned by, for it cannot be “taught” in the usual sense) people three feet shorted and twenty years younger than the full-grown adults at the University of Michigan Law School, in institutions ranging from Boy Scout troops to public-school kindergartens.

Grutter v. Bollinger (US 2003)

This is in response to a lawsuit against Michigan law claiming its “affirmative action” holistic approach of evaluating applicants was unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment.

Scalia is also inordinately fond of saying that judgments with which he disagrees lead to “words no longer have meaning!” He makes me laugh, and while I disagree with his decisions, I love reading his writing.

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