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    Registered User cch5432's Avatar
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    Default Desegregation vs. Integration

    Let's take a trip back to the mid-20th century.

    First of all, let's ignore the fact that the Supreme Court's decision to desegregate the schools was, while the right thing to do, extremely unconstitutional (laws should be made from the legislature, not the bench, and the 14th Amendment intentionally left out the schools). [SIDENOTE: I'm not against desegregation, I just think that Congress should have initiated it, not the SC).

    Anyways, so the schools are desegregated at this point. However, due to the natural and voluntary decisions on all Americans, many neighborhoods happened to be (and still happen to be) racially "imbalanced." Human beings tend to live closer to members of their own ethnic groups. Therefore, schools tended to (not always, but tended to) be racially imbalanced.

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark case for African-American rights. Note what it says:

    "Nothing herein shall empower any official or court of the United States to issue any order seeking to achieve a racial balance in any school by requiring the transportation of pupils or students from one school to another or one school district to another in order to achieve such racial balance."

    Similarly, the chief litigator of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund during Brown v BOE, future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, had said that the Constitution required an end to segregation, NOT integration (although of course Marshall changed his position once he reached the SC).

    So, let's think about Swann v Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. The Charlotte board proposed a plan that had 9 of its 10 high schools being between 17-36% black, while the tenth was on 2% black. For some reason, this plan was unaccetable, and the Supreme Court ordered that black students be bused into the suburban schools, and white student be bused into the city schools, is this a clear violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Is this a classic case of discrimination to end discrimination? Furthermore, does the SC (or even Congress for that matter) have the right to integrate? Keep in mind the key differences between integration and desegregation.

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    Premium Member Clyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cch5432 View Post
    Keep in mind the key differences between integration and desegregation.
    Are you referring to one being a legal remedy and one being the result of old rules and laws and habits changing?

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    nWo
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    If memory serves me correctly Brown vs. Board of Education was really to strike down the Jim Crow law of seperate but equal systems in the schools. I can tell you from what my mom told me the schools were anything but equal.

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    Premium Member Clyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nWo View Post
    If memory serves me correctly Brown vs. Board of Education was really to strike down the Jim Crow law of seperate but equal systems in the schools. I can tell you from what my mom told me the schools were anything but equal.
    Correct. It overturned Plessy v Ferguson (I think that was the name of the case).

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    Registered User cch5432's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nWo View Post
    If memory serves me correctly Brown vs. Board of Education was really to strike down the Jim Crow law of seperate but equal systems in the schools. I can tell you from what my mom told me the schools were anything but equal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Clyde View Post
    Correct. It overturned Plessy v Ferguson (I think that was the name of the case).
    Both correct, but neither relevant. School segregation and the "separate but equal" ideas are both morally impermissible. But we live in a republic- laws are crafted by elected officials, not appointees. Laws should not be made from the bench.

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    Registered User cch5432's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clyde View Post
    Are you referring to one being a legal remedy and one being the result of old rules and laws and habits changing?
    I understand that one is a more legal term, but, from the way that I am looking at it:

    They are essentially the same practice aiming for opposite goals. Desegregation is forcing races to stay separate, integration is forcing races to be together in school. Desegregation is valid because "separate but equal" was bogus and no one should be denied school access because of the color of their skin. However, integration is not valid because it violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is a form of discrimination, and puts race at the forefront instead of being color-blind. The Supreme Court's act of forcing African-American students to bus 2 hours both ways to school just to fill a percentage of black students was an unconstitutional and egregious action.

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    nWo
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    Quote Originally Posted by cch5432 View Post
    Both correct, but neither relevant. School segregation and the "separate but equal" ideas are both morally impermissible. But we live in a republic- laws are crafted by elected officials, not appointees. Laws should not be made from the bench.
    This was not law making from the bench. The Supreme Court struck down the "Seperate but Equal" Law because it was unconstitutional.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nWo View Post
    This was not law making from the bench. The Supreme Court struck down the "Seperate but Equal" Law because it was unconstitutional.
    Uh, to the non-legal expert it looks that way, they made students bus.

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    Registered User cch5432's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nWo View Post
    This was not law making from the bench. The Supreme Court struck down the "Seperate but Equal" Law because it was unconstitutional.
    As we argue, keep in mind that I absolutely believe that "separate but equal" is bogus and absolutely should have been made illegal- just by the correct channels.

    How was it unconstitutional? The ruling centered on the 14th Amendment (1868), which mentions nothing about segregation. As noted by The Atlantic..."In...1874, the Congress enacted legislation which specifically provided for separation of the races in the schools of the District of Columbia. It is difficult to think that the Congressmen of that time proposed to require by constitutional amendment that the states do what Congress was unwilling to require of the District."

    There should have been a separate amendment or a Congressional act that ended segregation, not a SC justice's policy preference when he should be making a legal decision based on current laws.

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    nWo
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD If U Please View Post
    Uh, to the non-legal expert it looks that way, they made students bus.
    This supreme court decision had nothing to do with busing.

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    nWo
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    Quote Originally Posted by cch5432 View Post
    As we argue, keep in mind that I absolutely believe that "separate but equal" is bogus and absolutely should have been made illegal- just by the correct channels.

    How was it unconstitutional? The ruling centered on the 14th Amendment (1868), which mentions nothing about segregation. As noted by The Atlantic..."In...1874, the Congress enacted legislation which specifically provided for separation of the races in the schools of the District of Columbia. It is difficult to think that the Congressmen of that time proposed to require by constitutional amendment that the states do what Congress was unwilling to require of the District."

    There should have been a separate amendment or a Congressional act that ended segregation, not a SC justice's policy preference when he should be making a legal decision based on current laws.
    I'm not arguing with you are any one else. How was it unconstitutional? Are you kidding me? So you are saying that it was ok in this country to set up school systems based on race. Then have these seperate systems not be treated the same? That is not seperate but equal that is why it was deemed unconstitutional. Because minority kids were not getting the same educational opportunities as the white kids.

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    Registered User cch5432's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nWo View Post
    I'm not arguing with you are any one else. How was it unconstitutional? Are you kidding me? So you are saying that it was ok in this country to set up school systems based on race. Then have these seperate systems not be treated the same? That is not seperate but equal that is why it was deemed unconstitutional. Because minority kids were not getting the same educational opportunities as the white kids.
    Nowhere did I say that it was "ok in this country to set up school systems based on race." I find it morally unacceptable. However, it was not unconstitutional at the time- what part of the Constitution did it violate? An amendment to the Constitution was needed. However, instead of an amendment, we got a Supreme Court Justice making personal policy preferences, when they should have given a purely legal decision.

    What I'm driving at is that there is a proper way to create new laws, but the SC is not it. The Constitution is a document that is meant to bind down politicians. Unless the Constitution explicitly permits government to create laws, then it is unconstitutional. Since the Constitution and its amendments have no reference of how to run a school system- and there is evidence that the 14th amendment specifically left out the school segregation issue- there is no reason why the Supreme Court should create the new rule. Rather, the issue should be decided by our elected officials, the Congress.

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    nWo
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    It violated the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. This amendment came about in large part was to overturn the ruling in the Dred Scott case of circa 1857.

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    Premium Member CoachBuckett's Avatar
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    I am not sure what you are trying to discuss.

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    Registered User cch5432's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoachBuckett View Post
    I am not sure what you are trying to discuss.
    Let me clarify a few things:

    When I started the thread, I was going to merely discuss the philosophies behind desegregation and integration- why desegregation was a valid cause, but integration was merely "discrimination to end discrimination." However, the discussion has morphed into something completely different that I also wanted to discuss, which is policy-making from the bench. I am not making an argument against desegregation, but I am (trying to) illustrate why the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v BOE was NOT based on the intention of the framers of the 14th amendment, but rather a personal policy preference. The way that desegregation should have been implemented is through an act of Congress or an amendment to the Constitution. I know it is a contentious issue and I hope no one misinterprets my motivation as racist, I am discussing nothing beyond judicial "interpretation".

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    Registered User cch5432's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nWo View Post
    It violated the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. This amendment came about in large part was to overturn the ruling in the Dred Scott case of circa 1857.
    That is what I'm trying to illustrate- it did NOT violate the 14th amendment, and for three primary reasons:

    1) (as noted earlier) If the creators of the 14th amendment were trying to desegregate, than why did Congress in 1874 (AFTER THE AMENDMENT) "enacted legislation which specifically provided for separation of the races in the schools of the District of Columbia." As noted by the Atlantic from above, "It is difficult to think that the Congressmen of that time proposed to require by constitutional amendment that the states do what Congress was unwilling to require of the District."

    2) In fact, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter charged in law clerk to determine the intentions of the framers of the 14th Amendment, and he found, "It is impossible to conclude that the 39th Congress intended that segregation be abolished; impossible also to conclude that they foresaw it might be, under the language they were adopting." However, Justice Frankfurter merely took "impossible to conclude" as a reason for him to make his own choice of what they want.

    3) As noted by Richard Kluger, “Could it be reasonably claimed that segregation had been outlawed by the Fourteenth when the yet more basic emblem of citizenship—the ballot—had been withheld from the Negro under that amendment?”

    Putting all thoughts about the noble cause of desegregation aside, the fact of the matter is that the Supreme Court didn't make a legal decision, but a policy preference. The 14th Amendment's original intents were ignored by the SC. There should have been another Constitutional Amendment. I go to all these lengths to illustrate the mindset that SC operates at times, and it is dangerous for us to allow men who have been appointed for life to create laws for our country. Rather, we should rely on a primary value of republicanism, that elected officials make the laws.

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    nWo
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    You say the law should be on the books. That law was on the books from 1868 until the Brown v. Board of Education ruling. Read the amendment. To paraphrase it, no state shall make a law that infringes on the civil rights of any natural born or nationalized citizen. "Jim Crow" or seperate but equal denied blacks of this. To me that is why the Supreme Court ruled like it did. Albeit some almost 90 years later. So the Supreme Court didn't make any new law they struck down one that was unconstitutional. That is what they are supposed to do.

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    Registered User cch5432's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nWo View Post
    You say the law should be on the books. That law was on the books from 1868 until the Brown v. Board of Education ruling. Read the amendment. To paraphrase it, no state shall make a law that infringes on the civil rights of any natural born or nationalized citizen. "Jim Crow" or seperate but equal denied blacks of this. To me that is why the Supreme Court ruled like it did. Albeit some almost 90 years later. So the Supreme Court didn't make any new law they struck down one that was unconstitutional. That is what they are supposed to do.
    We'll just have to agree to disagree, I suppose. If the writers of the 14th Amendment, the 39th Congress, intended for it to end segregation, then I don't understand why that same Congress would segregate their own schools (in DC) AFTER passing the amendment.

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    nWo
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    Quote Originally Posted by cch5432 View Post
    We'll just have to agree to disagree, I suppose. If the writers of the 14th Amendment, the 39th Congress, intended for it to end segregation, then I don't understand why that same Congress would segregate their own schools (in DC) AFTER passing the amendment.
    If you think in today's time I can see why you don't understand. Think of when this amendment was written. It was right after the Civil War. The times were very, very different.

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    Premium Member Bluegrasscard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cch5432 View Post
    As we argue, keep in mind that I absolutely believe that "separate but equal" is bogus and absolutely should have been made illegal- just by the correct channels.

    How was it unconstitutional?

    Not being familiar with the actual legal arguements in the case I would say "seperate but equal" is definitely unconstitutional. "Seperate" would be definitely "different" and different treatment under the law is unconstitutional. And whether something is truely "equal" is likely an abitrary and capricious judgement. Typically things that are arbitrary and capricious are unconstitutional.

    So both violate the key parts of constitutional laws or rulings.

    As someone who went through Louisvilles forced bussing "experiment" I can say you could physically see the disparity in the inner-city schools and county schools.