Wednesday, October 13, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court's Recent Actions Worries Me

The U.S. Supreme Court has officially opened it session, and the future of human and civil rights policy has me very worried. Melinda Lewis of Classroom to Capitol summarizes my concerns nicely:
# The U.S. Supreme Court is accepting more business-related cases than in previous terms, and siding more with corporate interests, giving the U.S. Chamber of Commerce its greatest winning percentage in decades.

# Several decisions have restricted the reach of environmental legislation, undoing some legislative attempts to address the most concerning aspects of environmental degradation.

# In another pro-corporate set of decisions, the Court opened the door for renewed age and sex discrimination in the workplace, which obviously stands in stark contrast to social work’s fervent opposition to discriminatory practices.

# In the case that bothers me the most, both because of what it suggests about the vulnerability of some of our most vaunted judicial victories and because of the sheer tragedy of it, in 2007 the U.S. Supreme Court essentially overturned Brown v. Board of Education, ruling that separate could, in fact, be equal, and that voluntary school desegregation plans, on the other hand, were not.

This is very bad news! All the hard gains in the past 50 years are slowly being reversed by a more conservative judiciary. People need to keep a watchful eye over the Court's rulings this year, especially social workers and information professionals. I fear something major will happen, and it may be too late to rectify it.

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