Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Some Potentially VERY Good Economic News

Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those with "skin in the game," and who likely possess the best perspective, are betting heavily on an upturn, as highlighted by Friday's Wall Street Journal:

Corporate insiders are buying stock in their own companies at a pact not seen in years, a sign they are betting on a rebound after a coronavirus-induced rout.  More than 2,800 executives and directors have purchased nearly $1.19 billion in company stock since the beginning of March.  That's the third-highest level on both an individual and dollar basis since 1988, according to the Washington Service, which provides data analytics about trading activity by insiders."

Here's why that's important:

Because insiders typically know the…[more]

March 30, 2020 • 11:02 am

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Is Banning Racial Preferences Unconstitutional? Supreme Court Will Decide Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Wednesday, March 27 2013
So does it violate the Constitution for voters to ensure nondiscrimination, even though the Constitution explicitly commands nondiscrimination?

Since its inception, “affirmative action” has barely survived judicial scrutiny. 

That it has survived at all is a wonder of judicial contortion.  The 14th Amendment, ratified in the aftermath of the Civil War, mandates, inter alia, equal protection of individuals under law: 

“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” 

The Constitution should be read to mean what it says.  It wasn’t drafted or intended to be esoteric, understood and applied only by a particular group.  Rather, it’s a popular document to be followed and applied by a participating electorate.  While no linguistic endeavor of man can be perfect in that regard, it is elegant and singularly enduring for its clarity, not its Byzantine complexity. 

Yet according to some, including the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Constitution doesn’t mean what it says.  Somehow, they claim, the Equal Protection Clause prohibits voters from outlawing racial preferences by their state universities.  

So does it violate the Constitution for voters to ensure nondiscrimination, even though the Constitution explicitly commands nondiscrimination?  This week, the United States Supreme Court announced that it will address the matter in its next term. 

The case stems from a 2006 Michigan ballot initiative, in which a resounding 58% majority amended the state constitution to prohibit racial and sexual preferences in public education, employment and contracting.  Three years earlier, the Supreme Court had overturned the University of Michigan’s undergraduate racial admission preferences, but allowed its law school admission formula to survive.  Accordingly, voters in that relatively liberal state approved the 2006 Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) to settle the matter. 

Other states across America have adopted such measures, including California ten years earlier.  For their part, courts have generally rejected legal challenges to those laws, including the far-left Ninth Circuit and California Supreme Court. 

Undeterred, an activist group going by the unwieldy name “Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary” decided to challenge the Michigan initiative.  Their opposition centered on the allegation that banning racial preferences is unfair, because universities can still accord preference to such groups as children of alumni. 

Never mind that we had to fight the Civil War and amend our Constitution because of racial discrimination, not alumni preferences or athletic scholarships.  Further, the only way to end admission discrimination in every form would be to admit every single person who applied, regardless of grades, test scores or other distinctive talents.  There are some forms of discrimination, however, that a free and fair society cannot abide.  Such characteristics as race, sex, national origin and religion differ in kind, not merely degree, from more trivial distinctions. 

Remarkably, the Sixth Circuit nevertheless accepted challengers’ argument, even where the Ninth Circuit and others did not.  By a narrow 8-7 margin, that Court ruled that the MCRI unconstitutionally encumbered racial minorities by rendering state government unable to continue affirmative action preferences.  According to Judge R. Guy Cole, Jr., who wrote the majority opinion, the law amounted to an effort by the majority “to manipulate the channels of change in a manner that places unique burdens on issues of importance to racial minorities.” 

So non-discrimination is discriminatory? 

And states across the nation must suddenly reinstate racial preferences? 

Such a result is untenable judicially, logically or linguistically, and the Supreme Court has accepted the opportunity to restore reason to the matter.  Curt Levey, counsel of record in the 2003 cases challenging Michigan’s race-based admissions policies, captured the issue well:  “The Fourteenth Amendment, lest we lose sight of the forest for the trees, does not require what it barely permits.” 

Or, as stated by Chief Justice John Roberts in a 2007 affirmative action case, “The way to end discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” 

That is exactly what Michigan voters overwhelmingly attempted to do.  It is now the Supreme Court’s task to affirm that the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause actually means what it says. 

A nation’s laws are only as good as those who apply them, and Americans should remember this whenever they wonder why elections and judicial appointments matter. 

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following pandemics caused the largest number of deaths in the 20th Century alone?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"The city of San Francisco is forbidding shoppers from carrying reusable bags into grocery stores out of fear that they could spread the coronavirus.As part of its shelter-in-place ordinance, the California city barred stores from 'permitting customers to bring their own bags, mugs, or other reusable items from home.' The city noted that transferring the bags back and forth led to unnecessary contact…[more]
 
 
—Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner
— Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner
 
Liberty Poll   

Have you or a member of your family contracted coronavirus or are having undiagnosed coronavirus symptoms?