In this issue’s forum, legal scholars Shep Melnick and James Ryan examine this debate through the lens of the education rulings of the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia. Melnick argues that Scalia’s conservative reading of Brown has solid roots in the text of the U.S. Constitution and usefully prohibits judges from imposing their policy preferences on the nation’s schools. Ryan, meanwhile, contends that Scalia’s rulings reveal the extent to which the court’s most famous “originalist” was willing to depart from his principles in order to strike down policies he found objectionable. At stake in their debate is nothing less than this question: Is our Constitution colorblind?
Equal Protection Bars Racial Favoritism
by R. Shep Melnick
Choosing Judicial Activism over Originalism
by James E. Ryan