April 14, 2016 |
Wendell Pierce never expected to find so much of himself in Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. "What was really wonderful was the pleasant surprise of finding out how much we had in common," Pierce said in an interview in January. "Which makes the break of where we diverge in ideas and opinion and policy and politics a little more of a heartbreak, you know?" Pierce ( The Wire ) portrays Thomas as a high court nominee in HBO's Confirmation . The movie, premiering at 8 p.m. Saturday, revisits the 1991 Senate hearings in which law professor Anita Hill (Kerry Washington, Scandal )
February 4, 2016
ISSUE | BLIZZARD OF 2016 Turnpike fiasco Everyone knew last month's blizzard was coming, and it's no surprise that accidents would occur on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Yet, despite similar experiences in 2007 and 2014, motorists were treated to a rerun of an all-too-familiar horror show. Gov. Wolf claimed the state had succeeded in making sure people were safe, and his spokesman said "no one was hurt, there were no deaths . . . . " But that seems more a stroke of incredible luck rather than affirmative action by PennDot.
January 12, 2016
By Mitchell Berman The U.S. Supreme Court heard argument last month in the latest constitutional challenge to race-based preferences in university admissions. The court's decision in Fisher v. University of Texas may determine affirmative action's future. It may also reveal the extent of the conservative justices' avowed commitments to judicial restraint. To understand why Fisher has this significance, recall the court's holding in June that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.
March 26, 2015 |
Novella S. Williams, 87, a West Philadelphia civic leader who began her fight against crime and corruption in her own neighborhood and pressed her advocacy of human rights and affirmative action onto the national stage, has died. Her family announced Tuesday that Mrs. Williams died Friday, March 20, of heart failure at her home, just as the sun set. Mrs. Williams was perhaps best known as the founder and president of Citizens for Progress Inc. (CFP). Under her five decades of leadership, the nonprofit worked to develop affirmative action in public education and to promote economic improvement for all, but especially those in the African American community.
May 5, 2014
Deal breakers When Israel offered statehood to the Palestinians with terms on the partition of Jerusalem and other issues, the Palestinians not only refused to make a counteroffer; they literally fled to avoid responding ("Kerry's not the problem," May 1). Why? They clearly had no desire to make peace and still embrace the twisted dream that they will eventually drive the Jews into the sea. Now Hamas and Fattah, which controls the West Bank, have joined forces. The Hamas charter openly calls for the destruction of Israel.
April 25, 2014
AFTER Tuesday's Supreme Court decision on affirmative action, we have a better idea why "Mad Men" is such a popular TV show. The series, set in the '60s, doesn't strike a note of nostalgia for the fashions, the glamour or the incessant smoking, but for the period in the country when actual progress was being made. Consider some of the milestones of the '60s: the court's Brown v. Board of Education decision, which prohibited segregated schools; the Civil Rights Act that outlawed discrimination; the enforcement of affirmative action for the first time; the Voting Rights Act; and the war on poverty, to name just a few. It was a time of high ideals and strong leaders who pushed the country to reach for racial, social, civic and financial equality.
April 25, 2014
'Simplistic" is how Justice Sonia Sotomayor described the reasoning of a Supreme Court majority that effectively upheld laws in seven states banning affirmative action by colleges and universities. She's right. The 6-2 decision suggests a nation that no longer needs to directly address the vestiges of past discrimination, which have left minority communities poorer, sicker, and educationally deprived. Beyond that, the ruling suggests the courts need not intervene when a state executes a law that was properly enacted through a viable democratic process.
April 24, 2014 |
IF YESTERDAY'S major Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action were a Hollywood movie, it would be "Back to the Future Part II. " Less than a year after the high court rolled back a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the backward-looking Supremes took a bite out of affirmative action by ruling that states can end racial preferences in public university admissions - if that's what a majority of the state's voters want. The justices' 6-2 ruling, in a case seeking to block a 2006 Michigan state referendum in which voters there banned public universities from using race to give college-admission preference, was also a win for seven other states with similar laws on the books - and it may lead to a wave of new state initiatives against affirmative action.
October 25, 2013
A photograph that made the rounds via social media last week showed a young man proudly displaying a Confederate flag outside the White House after a protest of the government's closing of the World War II memorial. Maybe the man wants a new Civil War. Or maybe he believes this is a "post-racial" America in which that despicable symbol of slavery and discrimination no longer means what it once did. Based on their remarks in an affirmative-action case argued the same week, some members of the U.S. Supreme Court may also believe that race is no longer an issue in America.
June 26, 2013 |
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to issue a definitive ruling Monday on the use of race in college admissions, instead ordering a lower court to re-examine the issue. The high court voted, 7-1, to send a University of Texas case - in which a white student denied admission challenged the university's use of race - back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. It said the appellate court had failed to hold the university to sufficient scrutiny as it sought to prove race was an essential consideration in efforts to develop a diverse student body.