Recently the Supreme Court has handed down three rulings related to education, or at least to teachers. The first was Davenport v. WEA, which ruled that unions cannot use non-members' compelled dues for political purposes. The second was Morse v. Frederick, the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case which ruled that schools can limit the exercise of free speech of students. The third was the case arising from the Seattle and Louisville school districts, which wanted to assign students to schools by race. The court ruled they could not.
I haven't seen or heard many hues and cries regarding the Morse case, so I'll focus on the other two. First, let's address the cases regarding assigning students to schools on the basis of race.
To hear the Democrat presidential candidates as they pandered to a black audience at Howard University last night, you'd think the Court had ruled that Brown v. Board of Education was overruled and that black students would again be legally required to attend segregated schools. In fact, the recent court ruling in entirely consistent with Brown.
Joanne Jacobs (see blogroll at left) shot down the Democrats' argument back in December when she said,
I thought Brown was about assigning black kids to their all-white neighborhood school instead of sending them across town because of their race. Silly me.
Joanne is exactly correct. Brown was a civil rights victory precisely because it prohibited using race to exclude students from particular schools. In Seattle and Louisville, the districts were preventing students from attending their neighborhood schools if their presence didn't conform to some racial quota system. I don't recall where I read it, but a blog commenter was fairly succinct when he said: Brown prevented school districts from excluding children from certain schools because of the color of their skin; this ruling does exactly the same thing.
But, the left will cry, what about desegregation? Ignoring for a moment that the Seattle schools, at least, were never legally segregated, I turn now to Discriminations (see blogroll at left), which quotes part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964:
I wonder if any of those advocates have taken a look lately at the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which I just did in writing the post immediately below (on his own site). If they have, they would have found Title IV, Section 401(b), which declares:
”Desegregation” means the assignment of students to public schools and within such schools without regard to their race, color, religion, or national origin, but “desegregation” shall not mean the assignment of students to public schools in order to overcome racial imbalance.Case closed. Unless, of course, laws don’t mean what they say.
As I'm one who chooses to believe that laws mean what they say, I'd have to agree: case closed. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, and this recent Court decision, are consistent with Dr. King's dream of not judging people by the color of their skin. Chief Justice Roberts said it best:
"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."
Some people just don't get that, but it truly is that simple.
The second case which liberals are twisting beyond recognition is Davenport v. WEA. Just as an example, here's what barking moonbat and presidential candidate John Edwards has to say about it:
"Corporations don't have to ask for shareholders' approval when they hire lobbyists, run ads or make campaign contributions to candidates running for governor. I believe labor unions have at least as great a right to be heard in the political process. Fortunately, Washington state has fixed its law. But if other states were to take advantage of the Court's unwise precedent today, it would silence the political voice of working families."
I hear the comparison with corporations often--one of my union reps at school often says that unions should be allowed to spend my money as they see fit because corporations can spend money as they see fit, as if all or even most corporate money goes to Republicans.
Edwards isn't stupid. He intentionally distorts reality and ignores the obvious. The difference is that corporate shareholders have voluntarily bought into the corporation, and can sell their shares (for a profit) if they don't approve of the way the corporation is being run. Additionally, no one is compelled to support corporations--if I don't like what they're selling, I don't buy from them. There's nothing voluntary about the union's getting my money. That distinction is too huge to be unintentionally ignored.
Writing for the Court, Justice Thomas said:
Regardless of one's views as to the desirability of agency-shop agreements...it is undeniably unusual for a government agency to give a private entity the power, in essence, to tax government employees.
And that is why Edwards' comparison to corporate stockholders is ridiculous beyond belief. And let's not forget, this case was decided 9-0. The WEA couldn't even get Justice Ginsburg to agree with their faulty arguments.
Reading further in the opinion, Thomas made a statement that I hope will one day sound the death knell for compulsory unionism in California and in the nation:
[U]nions have no constitutional entitlement to the fees of nonmember-employees. (emphasis mine--Darren)
In other words, that unions can garnish my wages at all is a statutory entitlement, not a constitutional one. It's good that the Court recognized that, even if Democrats and union officials can't or won't.