Jen’s Hungover Feminist Report: Supreme Court session wrap-up edition

I’ll be honest, I really am hungover today, so this is going to be quick. And trust me, you do not want to look at me on video today. The Supreme Court session has ended until the fall. Let’s take a moment to enjoy some of the lowlights from the last few months of decisions that we’ve covered here at Feministing. Feel free to add others in comments.
April 18th – Gonzales v. Carhart and Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood
The Supreme Court decides that outlawing abortion methods is fine, even if a woman’s health is at risk.
Vanessa summed it up well. “We’re fucked.” From the decision:

Respondents have not demonstrated that the Act […] imposes an undue burden on a woman’s right to abortion based on its overbreadth or lack of a health exception.

Congrats, ladies. Your health is irrelevant.
May 29th – Ledbetter v. Goodyear
The Supreme Court decides that you can’t file a pay discrimination complaint more than 180 days “after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred.â€?
Ann breaks it down, ” 180 days isn’t much time to figure out a pay disparity exists. How many people — especially, for example, women in nontraditional professions — talk openly with their coworkers about how much they’re earning?”
June 28th – Parents Involved v. Seattle School District and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education
The Supreme Court strikes down, K-12 voluntary integration programs in public schools. The consideration of race for admissions was determined to be constitutional in colleges a few years ago. I guess they figure kids can wait.
Chief Justice Roberts said, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”
Pissed off me says the way to make schools more racially diverse is to fucking make schools more racially diverse.
Samhita notes:

The policy, cultural mindset and economic racism has been in place for a long time, but today the Supreme Court made the few slightly effective attempts at desegregation, that much less possible.

Quite a year they’re having down at the Supreme Court. Fuckers.

Join the Conversation

  • ccall

    Elections definintely have consequences. Say a little prayer for Stevens.

  • ikez78

    I teach in a BD school that is very racially diverse and I am often amazed at how little racial tension there. There are almost no racial incident per year and the school’s racial makeup weren’t the result of government mandated racial settings. Just a thought.
    Are there examples of where government intervention on this type of thing has been successful in the past?

  • LindsayPW

    C-Span had and excellent rap up about this terms Supreme Court decisions hosted by a female Constitutional law professor from Stanford University. I wish I had a way of posting it here because it really explained some interesting things. One woman commented about how the partial birth abortion ban was written with sexist overtones and said the ban was made because they wanted to protect us women from ourselves and not to protect baybeez. So it was a good watch. It will probably repeat on C-Span so keep a look out for it.

  • astrid

    I was (quite recently) one of the students being bussed around the Seattle to ensure diversity. Many of my friends were denied enrollment at the brand new high school near their homes and bussed halfway across the city to another school in very poor condition, simply because they were not minorities. I, as a participant in the predominantly white and asian gifted program, had to take a bus to a school in a historically black neighborhood so that I would be educated in a diverse environment.
    I realize I am speaking from a position of privelege, 10 years or so that I spent being bussed around the district did practically nothing to help race relations, and in fact created a lot of tension between the “neighborhood” and “bus” students. Furthermore, dragging in kids from all over the city decreases the sense of community around a school, and made it harder for students to participate in after-school activities (like sports or clubs or band) when home was not within walking distance.
    I realize the value of diversity in the classroom, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable surrounded by white students in a racially diverse city, but pulling kids away from their communities and throwing them into hostile environments is not going to fix anything. If we could figure out how to integrate neighborhoods than kids could go to racially diverse neighborhood schools.
    When I was eight years old there was a heavy us vs. them mentality on the playground. We shared the same building but we didn’t interact, because the district and our parents passed their issues onto us.
    A decision like this seems awful in the abstract, but the situation, at least in Seattle, was a complete disaster. It certainly wasn’t fair to anyone, and it created more problems than it solved. I don’t know that I’m exactly “happy” about the decision, but I certainly believe that these integration practices in the Seattle Public Schools needed to be put to an end.

  • mousey

    There is a great summary of four lesser-talked about Supreme Court cases here. Just goes to show what happens when we elect a reactionary, pro-big business, born-again hypocrite to appoint justices that have a scary amount of power over the laws.

  • ekf

    astrid, you may or may not know the answer to this question, but I’ll ask it anyway — why would Seattle build a great, new school in a predominantly white area if they were already having issues with diversity? Why not build a great, new school in a predominantly minority neighborhood?
    Here in Chicago, where the public school system is far from ideal, many of the best ranked public schools are not in wealthy or white neighborhoods (Whitney Young High, for example, is on the West Side of the city, an area that is just now getting hints of gentrification but has long been poor and AfAm).
    I don’t hear about kids minding bus rides for long periods of time when their target school will help them get into college as compared with their local, walkable school. It’s just when the objective is a less directly beneficial one, like being part of an effort to make the world a more fair place for all people to get educated, that I hear the commuting complaints. Understandable, but I also wonder why school districts don’t take this understandable impulse into account and give students a more self-interested reason to want to go to a diverse school.

  • Mina

    “but pulling kids away from their communities and throwing them into hostile environments is not going to fix anything.”
    What about when the strudent’s community *is* the hostile environment? My school district was based on “neighborhood schools,” which guaranteed that the bullies who lived on my street got to bully me in class too.
    Letting a kid have two sets of peers (neighborhood and school) instead of just the same one twice gives that kid a second chance.

  • Cola

    Roberts isn’t stupid. He should know better.
    John Roberts:
    Has absolutely no self respect. A total sellout. Morally bankrupt. Without integrity.

  • astrid

    Actually, they’ve been steadily remodeling schools in order of some list. Right now they are working on the high school that I went to, that was probably ~40% black.

  • Mina

    “I don’t hear about kids minding bus rides for long periods of time when their target school will help them get into college as compared with their local, walkable school.”
    Or when there is no local, walkable school because the town is not very densely populated. How many suburbs would rather have a whole bunch of walkable one-room schoolhouses, none of which can afford a gym or library, than one multi-room high school with a gym and a library beyond safe walking distance of 90% of its homes?