November 2, 2011
ON THE NEED FOR COMBINING COLOR-BLIND AND RACE-CONSCIOUS POLICIES
Desmond S. King & Rogers M. Smith, Still a House Divided: Race and Politics in Obama's America (Princeton & Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2011) ("One final point is worth underlining because today, the Supreme Court is the major governing institution most controlled by color-bind forces and most likely to challenge an executive branch advancing mixed, and therefore partly race-conscious, policies. If America's political leaders are to begin to devise and defend policies that combine color-blind and race-neutral measures in ways that they believe the evidence shows to be effective, it will be necessary for the Supreme Court's majority to cease its efforts to revise constitutional doctrines in order to require more extensive, if to date never full, color blindness. Thus, rather than making professions of color-blind objectivity prerequisites for appointment to the Supreme Court, as may in the Senate sought to do in the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings, it would be preferable for judges, for those who appoint them, and for those who argue before them all to interpret the Constitution so that policies are assessed on whether they can reasonably be thought to contribute to achieving constitutional goals for all persons. Again, this means embrace of an overarching public philosophy in which there are still disputes between rival ideological camps, but in which all recognize that the real choices are not between color-blind or race-conscious principles, only between what combinations of color-blind and race-conscious policies will best serve American in the early twenty-first century." Id. at 291-292.).