No State shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Does that sound familiar? It should. That’s what the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution says – verbatim. All persons in every state in the United States are considered equal under the law. The laws must therefore protect all persons equally. White, black, yellow or red doesn’t matter under the plain meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Equal means color blind.
One would think that every Justice sitting on the United States Supreme Court would know that. It should be a no brainer for them. No law may apply differently to persons based upon the color of their skin – their race; period. That is the clear and obvious intent of the Fourteenth Amendment which was ratified after the Civil War in order to guarantee equality to all persons regardless of race.
So every SCOTUS justice should, by the mandate of his or her sworn oath to uphold the Constitution, vote to strike down any state law which does not protect all persons in the jurisdiction equally, right?
Wrong, say Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Anthony Kennedy, in a 4 to 3 decision upholding a Texas affirmative action policy which blatantly takes the race of student applicants for admission to the University of Texas into account, and thereby denies equal protection of the law to whites.
When it comes to college admissions all persons are not necessarily equal they ruled. Equal is not color blind. Blacks are entitled to racial preferences and that’s OK under the Fourteenth Amendment. In order to achieve a diverse student body at colleges and universities, Texas' unique method of singling out some minority students for admission to its flagship campus in Austin is constitutional.
Never-mind that some white students, like the girl who brought this case, who was indeed better qualified for admission than the blacks who were admitted, will be denied equal protection of the law. You see majorities on the U.S. Supreme Court sometimes just make up the rules as they please in spite of what the Constitution says.
"Considerable deference is owed to a university in defining those intangible characteristics, like student body diversity, that are central to its identity and educational mission," Justice Kennedy opined. "But still, it remains an enduring challenge to our nation's education system to reconcile the pursuit of diversity with the constitutional promise of equal treatment and dignity."
But… but… the Constitution doesn’t say anything about the pursuit of diversity of student bodies at universities… nothing! It plainly says that all persons are entitled to equal protection of the law… that’s what it says. Tough luck says Kennedy; universities may consider a person’s race in the admissions process and that doesn’t violate equal protection.
Oh, Nino (Scalia)… where were you when justice needed you – when a majority on the SCOTUS decided that equal means unequal; equal is not color blind.