Originalist Interpretation of the 14th Amendment.

Conservatives want to gut the Voting Rights Act on the theory that the 14th Amendment must be interpreted and applied in a race neutral way. New Justice Brown set the record straight. Those honoring their much vaunted “Originalist” credentials would have to agree with her. Of course, they won’t. This “conservative” Court is about outcomes, not the Rule of Law.


30 thoughts on “Originalist Interpretation of the 14th Amendment.

    1. I guess that even though you spout it all the time, you have no idea what “orginalist” means. Her point could not be more clear. It was in response to ahistorical comments by counsel which totally ignored the original intent of the Civil War amendments.

      “Conservatives” seem to desperately want to forget why we have a federal voting rights act in the first place. As a reminder, it is because historically and to this day some states have implemented voting policies, practices, and districts for the explicit purpose of reducing the political power of non-white people.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Where do the quotes she used suggest racial Gerrymandering?

        Did you read the 14th? It has 5 parts, part 1 is the only one that applies to rights,
        Part 2 removes the 3/5th person for apportionment, and subtracts men who fought for the South. Part 3 bars Rebels from office, Part 4 guarantees the Union debt and repudiates the Southern debt. Part 5 authorizes Congress to pass laws to implement it.

        No where does it suggest equity, only equality.


        1. All she said is that it was “racially conscious.” Because, it was. Therefore, from an Originalist point of view it is not unconstitutional to implement the original intent – the franchise for black people – with federal legislation.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. One of the better ways to test an idea is to apply it strictly.

    Let’s assume a previously undiscovered State. Let’s call it Utopia. Utopia has a population that supports 10 members of Congress and 20% of the population is Black. By Justice Brown’s(is it properly Brown, Jackson, or Brown-Jackson, I want to get that right) reasoning 2 of its Congressmen should be from Black majority districts.

    However, in the state of Utopia, total integration of the races has been accomplished and Blacks are fully incorporated into all aspects of society, and Blacks are absolutely evenly distributed in all neighborhoods.

    So, how do you Gerrymander those 2 Black majority districts.

    If you can’t, how is her reasoning to be applied? If all states are not as perfect as Utopia, are not those closest to those goals, those most integrated, the ones most severely affected by her reasoning?

    I would agree that the 14th Amendment provision of equality under the law would prohibit Gerrymandering TO EXCLUDE Black representation but it equally prohibits Gerrymandering to enforce a proportional outcome.


      1. Read the whole thing. The point is that those states MOST INTEGRATED will have the hardest time complying with Justice Brown’s theory.

        Northen States keep all their Blacks in urban centers, the rural areas are lily white. The South is far more integrated in rural areas. Thus they will have the harder time creating the districts she requires.

        What she wants is just impossible in Utopia, but in Alabama it could be done, but only by bizarre Gerrymanders.

        In any case, her own quotes don’t support meddling in race neutral congressional districts.

        I really had high hopes for her because of her statements during confirmation, but she has immediately been a disappointment.


          1. And yet, rural areas in the South are far more integrated than rural areas in the North.

            Perhaps “keep” was a poor choice of words, but it reflects the reality.

            No racism there, just disdain for Yankees 🙂


          2. Being a Mets fan (saw your other post about all-day baseball and it brought a smile to my face), I too, share a disdain for THE Yankees, but that is not the point.

            Someone who says something dripping with racism and then denies he is being racist and claiming “poor choice of words” as an excuse is just as disturbing as the original comment.

            So the South keeps ALL of its poor people, Black or White, in rural areas? I seem to recall there are several large cities in Southern states with a robust minority population. And those cities are being carved up to dilute the Black vote.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. I didn’t say anything about Southern cities, I said the rural areas in the South are more integrated than in the North.

            The problems of cities are similar North and South. New Orleans is the current murder capital in the US.

            Cites North and South are Democrat cesspools of corruption.


          4. “Cites North and South are Democrat cesspools of corruption.”

            YAWN! Just another one-note comment about Democrats being corrupt. When you get off of your high horse and realize that there is as much corruption, if not more, in Republican run areas, including at the Federal level during GOP administrations, I might take you seriously. But until you can admit that it is not a one-sided issue, I see nothing relevant to what you are saying.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. We can start with crime rates.

            “Jacksonville, which had a murder rate of 19.78 per 100,000 residents, and other Republican-led cities like Tulsa (19.64), Fresno, California (14.09), Bakersfield (11.91), Oklahoma City (11.16), and Lexington, Kentucky (10.61), have much higher murder rates than the two biggest cities in the nation, New York (5.94) and Los Angeles (6.74). Some Democratic-led cities, including Chicago (28.49) and Houston (17.32), have certainly seen alarming increases in crime, but Fox News coverage and Republican rhetoric has focused vastly more on those examples than on comparable cities with Republican mayors.“


            Liked by 1 person

          6. “ The current mayor of Tulsa is Mayor G. T. Bynum, a Republican, who was first elected in 2016.”


            “Fresno has a Republican mayor.”


            “ Oklahoma City has a Republican mayor.”


            The rest of the list is here:


            We can quibble over the individual council members, etc. But mayors have a lot of power in most cities.

            Bottom line, you ask for corruption, and we start with crime. Crime is data. Corruption is a vague term with a lot of subjective variables.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. Yeah, cities are where those corrupt, arrogant, lazy, and uppity urban people live. Funny that almost every sort of social disorder is worse in the reddest of red states than in almost any state with big cities. Poverty, crime, violence. You name it.

            For example, here is a quick comparison of gun death rates as an indicator of violence:

            Liberal states with very large cities…
            New York : 5.3
            Illinois : 14.1
            California : 8.5
            New Jersey : 5.0
            Massachusetts : 3.7


            Conservative states without large cities…
            Mississippi : 28.6
            Alabama : 23.6
            Alaska : 23.5
            Montana : 20.9
            Wyoming : 25.9

            Seems reality does not match your pre-conceived ideas.


  2. Justice Jackson argues that because most freedmen were black, equal protection for them was racially based. Her logic is flawed, because some freedmen might have been white or mulatto or Indian or Asian. The point is not that freedman /= race, but that freedman was a legal status, not a racial one.

    The 14th Amendment tried to solve the problem of racial prejudice whereby legal citizens could be denied their franchise based on their skin color. It didn’t try to create racial equality, but to preserve the singularity of citizenship.

    It is sad to see such an unqualified justice on the Court.


    1. “It is sad to see such an unqualified justice on the Court.”

      Her opinions are based on her experience, studies and understanding of the law. Just because you disagree with her does not make her unqualified. IMO, it makes her a lot smarter than you.

      I’ll take her qualifications over two of the three Trump appointed justices currently sharing chambers with her.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Conservatives want to gut the Voting Rights Act ”
    Which Conservatives? Says Who? You?
    You’re absurd. Speak for yourself. You certainly do not speak for conservatives.


  4. Weird, I thought the whole point was race neutrality in all aspects of life not federal gerrymandering from SCOTUS to give anyone social or political power over another. You seem to take issue with the electoral college, unless it favors you, but condone an extreme version of the same.


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