Given the importance of this case, I felt the need to devote an entire post to it. Before I continue, I want to make it clear that Justice Kennedy is decidedly NOT one of my favorite Supreme Court Justices, especially since the Kelo decision, although, to be fair, his concurring opinion was easily the most sane and fair of those in the majority. Had he known facts that later came to light, I feel he could have very easily ruled the other way using that same reasoning. Several states reacted in manners consistent with Kennedy's criteria to the benefit of property owners. However, I've already groused about the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" ruling, so I won't go into that here. Some say Kennedy's a conservative with libertarian leanings. I say he's a conservative who has the occasional pang of conscience.
Now, on my main point, I find myself echoing his opinion in a case critics decry as undoing the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS, decision. Justice Kennedy's stance on this issue was that, while race cannot be THE deciding factor, it can be A deciding factor and that other measures should be taken to prevent resegregation. I also echo Justice Thomas' when he said, "If our history has taught us anything it has taught us to beware of elites bearing racial theories." And although I felt Chief Justice Roberts' plurality opinion was overreaching, I think he was dead-on when he said, "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." Chief Justice Roberts may be a bit of a bastard, but that bastard was right on that point. Discrimination cannot be used to fight discrimination, yet the opinion of the minority in this case was that the ends justify the means. My stance is that the ends are only as noble as the means used to achieve them, and in this case, the means were ignoble and racist. On the most overreaching aspects of the Roberts opinion, no majority was written, merely a plurality. This issue is far from settled, and I think the ensuing debate can be healthy for this nation. However, I somehow doubt it will be, given the abundance of demagogues on both sides of the political spectrum in this nation. Hate begets hate, and Seattle chose to go down that slippery slope.