Another National Injunction Against the Biden Administration

|

There is another new national injunction against the Biden Administration. Laura Reiley of the Washington Post reports here:

U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard on Wednesday halted loan forgiveness payments and debt relief for disadvantaged farmers anywhere in the United States, according to the Middle District Court of Florida ruling. The lawsuit was filed by White farmer Scott Wynn of Jennings, Fla., who also has farm loans and has faced financial hardship during the pandemic. He said the debt relief program discriminates against him by race.

The court's discussion of the national injunction is on pages 46-48 of its opinion and order, available here. The court noted skepticism of the national injunction from some of the justices, but concluded that if the program goes into effect, it will swiftly use all of its funds, so the only way to preserve funds for the plaintiff was to stop the entire program. In the court's words:

Plaintiff has shown a likelihood of success on the merits of his claim that Section 1005 is unconstitutional and, if implemented, would deprive him of his right to equal protection under the law. The implementation of Section 1005 will be swift and irreversible, meaning the only way to avoid Plaintiff's irreparable harm is to enjoin the program. The Court can envision no other remedy that will prevent the likely violation of Plaintiff's constitutional right which absent an injunction cannot be remedied in this action.

What is perhaps most unusual about this remedial decision is a footnote: "The Court reaches this conclusion without regard to any incidental benefit to other similarly situated White farmers." In other words, the court gave its injunction universal effect on no other ground than that doing so was necessary to protect the plaintiff. I have not read the briefing in the case, so I don't know what arguments may have been presented by the federal government. But an all-or-nothing remedy for just this one plaintiff seems implausible, since if the court were trying to craft a plaintiff-specific injunction, and considered the full range of its equitable powers, it could have ordered the defendant to set aside funds sufficient for whatever claim the plaintiff might make (were his application to be considered without respect to race).

NEXT: My "The Hill" Article on Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Bolling v. Sharpe was wrongly decided. Discuss.

  2. Jimmy is firing up his new Prime Day popcorn machine….

  3. What’s it like to be such an evil racist pig that you’re unhappy that a Federal judge stopped the Federal government from violating the US Constitution with a racist program?

    Do mirrors shatter when you look at them?

    1. The program is racist. But no one gets anything, versus some people get stuff. How is that a better outcome? Sure, you can say equality is good even if it makes everyone worse off … except that’s a fairly left wing argument that most conservatives, I think, rightly reject, at least expansive versions of that.

      1. Hmm, interesting theory. Trump hands out $100m each of taxpayer funds to himself, his wife, all of his children, former wives, former girlfirends (that he still likes) and a selected group of his most fervent admirers. Some people get something beats nobody gets anything. I can’t help feeling there’s something missing here.

        Oh yes ! It’s the $5.6 billion missing from the Treasury. Which comes out of taxpayer pockets to some extent, and out of thin air (but really future taxpayer pockets) to the extent of the rest.

      2. Why should anyone get anything from a racist program that was clearly created for the purpose of pandering to a subset of the populace based on an immutable characteristic?

        If I created a fund for only people taller than 6 feet, using government funds, that’s so obviously immoral it should be stopped. Or a program that provides free cars, using tax money, just for women.

        Some ideas are just so unfair they should be stopped if even one person might complain.

      3. But no one gets anything, versus some people get stuff. How is that a better outcome?

        In general, because it hurts everyone instead of just a small minority and if it hurts everyone they might be inclined to fix the situation. This is pretty much the whole point of why “separate but equal” was bad. Your argument is the equivalent of “How does taking a pool away from the white folks so that no one has a pool make things better off ?”.

      4. “But no one gets anything, versus some people get stuff”

        1: It’s almost always better when the Federal Government is stopped from acting

        2: It’s infinitely superior, because now the Biden Admin is under pressure to nuke that program, and start a new one that isn’t racist.

        Besides, IIRC, the program had no requirement that the people getting paid off with my tax dollars actually suffered a harm. All they have to do is be black.

        Screw that

  4. Well, that ended well for everyone.

    The whole concept of “leveling down” in equal protection cases has always made me fairly uncomfortable. Because I agree that this law here is plainly unconstitutional, but … so no one gets something instead of some people? How does standing work for that? I understand, so the theory goes, that not being equally treated is an injury in it of itself, which strikes me as … a strange way of understanding standing. How is that concrete?

    And I am still, perhaps the only one, pissed about Sessions vs. Moralas. One of the worst decision in my lifetime. Dude was treated unequally, gender based, sued, won, and then not only was he deported anyway, but hundreds of thousands of single mothers were as well. Horrible.

    Those people had nothing to do with the case. Why should the government take away their rights? You cant even allege taxpayers standing here. It doesn’t cost anything to not deport people.

    Of course the next say the media celebrated Ginsburg writing another gender equality decision …

    And leveling down decisions just feel incredibly wrong to me.

    Some version of taxpayer standing might work here. The taxpayer pays for this, so paying for unequal treatment being bad might be a viable claim, but still … idk. Look these things are hard to resolve. I dont see a great alternative to what we have now, but it leaves a very bad taste, and I dont know what to do about it.

    1. You’re only looking at half the equation. Imagine that your bank announces they’re going to take all the deposits, and hand them out to local streetwalkers. Somebody gets an injunction against it.

      Nobody’s getting ANY money, how horrible. Oh, wait, your account wasn’t emptied out….

    2. It doesn’t cost anything to not deport people.

      Really ? Are single mothers typically greater or lesser consumers of welfare dollars than single dudes ?

      1. Nothing plants seeds of warmth to your nation, for harvesting in the future, like kicking out single mothers so they can’t take advantage of better economic conditions ( , Christian.)

        1. I comment on Aladdin’s Carpet’s economic arithmetic, not the size of his/her/zhe’s large and gentle heart.

    3. “Nobody gets anything”

      Two points.

      1. This doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Legislators and executive branches can always revisit their decisions in the wake of a decision, to make it more “inclusive” if they wish

      2. Sometimes policies which are racially divisive cause more overall damage than any benefit gained by any one race.

      Let’s give some examples of why “nobody gets anything” is a poor argument. Let’s imagine the “White people tax cut act”. If you’re white, you get a $5000 tax cut. African American Joe sues to stop it and gets an injunction. White Karen says “Now no one gets anything!”… Is she racist? Is the entire policy a bad idea that should’ve been struck down?

    4. The small business grants Biden passed out to black people first is why this happened the way it did. The courts put a stop to it, but not before just about all the money had already been passed out.

      That’s why you have to stop it in its tracks.

    5. “The whole concept of “leveling down” in equal protection cases has always made me fairly uncomfortable. Because I agree that this law here is plainly unconstitutional, but … so no one gets something instead of some people?”

      No one gets anything . . . until they rewrite the law so that it’s fair instead of discriminatory. It’s not prohibiting people from ever getting anything, it’s saying you can’t do it like this, go back and try again.

  5. Agree that if injunction is solely for plaintiff’s benefit, the court could order a bond set aside covering plaintiff’s potential claims rather than enjoining the entire progra,

    Notice the judge capitalized “White.”

    1. Yes, I noticed that too. I feel sure that one of the Profs was recently noting the general habit in print of capitalising Black but not capitalising white. In this case capitalising White seems pretty reasonable as the Whiteness of the White farmer is pretty central to the decision.

      I agree too that a less nuclear remedy would seem to work.

  6. “The Court reaches this conclusion without regard to any incidental benefit to other similarly situated White farmers.”

    That does seem a bit odd to have thrown in.

    1. It’s almost a case of the judge coming out and saying, “Hand this particular guy some money and I’ll make the injunction go away.”

      Was the judge a friend of the guy, or something?

      1. Well “this particular guy” happened to be the plaintiff, so he deserves some consideration at least. Over and above people who aren’t plaintiffs.

        And I think your logic is backwards. The judge’s “national” injunction seems to make it harder rather than easier for the feds to make the issue go away, as against the option of making the government put some money aside for the plaintiff.

        1. But that one statement seems to make it crystal clear that, if they pay this one guy off, the judge will lift the injunction.

          1. Well, if they did, shouldn’t she ? There’d be no case or controversy left.

            1. Yeah, everybody else similarly situated can just lose, right?

              The unconstitutionality doesn’t go away just because they cut one guy a check.

              1. No, other people, or a class of them, can become plaintiffs themselves. If you want judges to “strike down” laws, you’re not getting Justice Thomas’s vote.

                1. It’s a preliminary injunction, I suppose when the government loses on the merits, it loses period, not just in regards to this one guy?

    2. Well, perhaps he felt tying it to the actual case was firmer grounds than legislating from the bench as a policy difference.

      1. Very brave proactive pronoun deployment.

        What are the rules pronoun, btw, when you haven’t heard the pronoun preference of someone you wish to refer to ?

    3. I would assume the judge holds the belief that Article III limits his court’s judicial power to the case before him and so he cannot provide relief to other parties. It’s one of the common legal arguments against national injunctions.

  7. You all know I’m pretty left on most social issues but on this one, I’m not sure this is an appropriate program.

    “Section 1005 incorporates 7 U.S.C. § 2279’s definition of an SDFR as ‘a farmer of rancher who is a member of a socially
    disadvantaged group.’ 7 U.S.C. § 2279(a)(5). A ‘socially disadvantaged group’ is defined as ‘a group whose members have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities.’”

    So a successful, millionaire, black farmer could have their debt paid even when they clearly can pay it back themselves.

    From a fiscal sense, that’s not good policy.

    1. Aaaaannnnndddd I just answered my own question.

      This program is just politicians protecting millionaires.

      1. Not “just” politicians protecting millionaires, surely. After all, there are plenty of white millionaires available to be protected too.

        The racist core of the program is not an accident, it’s there to make racial reparations. It’s a proud statement of defiance of White Supremacy.

      2. No, it’s just politicians protecting millionaires selected on racist criteria.

        Like anti-matter, anti-racism is exactly the same as racism, except with the opposite sign.

        1. So gerrymandering based on race was OK because race was only a proxy for voting Democrat, but a law that doesn’t refer to a particular race is racist because it impacts different races differently? Hmmm…

          1. You misunderstand. The law does refer to a particular race, by incorporating by reference a specific racial definition. This is not a disparate impact case.

  8. Even if I thought this was good policy – which I do not – I’m having trouble understanding why anyone thought this would survive a lawsuit. There are some constitutional questions that are fairly debatable; this does not strike me as one of them. Wasn’t there anyone at the Justice Department who spoke up and said, “Guys, we can’t do this”?

    1. “Wasn’t there anyone at the Justice Department who spoke up and said, “Guys, we can’t do this”?”

      Looks like that’s a no… Or at least no one listened.

      But that’s what happens when you fill your departments with like minded people who drive each other farther and farther left.

      1. They are following a federal law.

        Or are you saying it’s OK for the executive to pick and choose which laws to follow.

        1. If the law isn’t constitutional….

          1. That has not yet been decided.

            Look, I said above I don’t think it’s a good law.

            But the point here is, the exec can’t pick and choose which laws to follow – as you suggested.

            1. It has only “not been decided” yet in the most trivial sense. They could scarcely have drafted the law to be more obviously unconstitutional.

            2. If the executive branch, believes in good faith, that a law is not constitutional, they can say so, and not impliment it. In fact, that is part of their responsibility and duty to the US Constitution.

              Let’s give an absurd example. Congress passes a law requiring the executive branch enslave African Americans. Does the executive branch HAVE to execute that law? Or could they view it as a violation of the US constitution and decline to execute the law?

              You’ve said that this is a bad law. Krychek said “There are some constitutional questions that are fairly debatable; this does not strike me as one of them.” In many views, (including that of the district court), this is clearly unconstitutional. The executive branch would be well within its rights…indeed it may be its duty…to decline to execute such a law. Then it would go to the courts.

        2. The executive has an independent constitutional obligation to not violate the Constitution, which means that, when Congress enacts unconstitutional laws, yes, they’re supposed to refuse to enforce them.

          1. That’s BS.

            You’re saying the exec can pick and chose which laws are constitutional?!?

            Every law Congress passes is constitutional – until it isn’t.

            Stop making up things.

            1. “The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and the name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void and ineffective for any purpose since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it; an unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed … An unconstitutional law is void.” (16 Am. Jur. 2d, Sec. 178)

              1. Check the United States Constitution and then get back with us.

                1. The United States Constitution is my basis for saying it’s unconstitutional. The law violates the 14th amendment, and pretty grossly.

                  And Article VI says,

                  “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.”

                  As a law violative of the 14th amendment, this law is not “made in pursuance thereof”, and thus is not actually a real law, just a pretend one.

                  1. The executive nullifying a law Congress passes is some bad business, even if the cite the Constitution.

                    1. See above, re: Congress passes a law demanding the executive branch enslave African Americans.

                      You think if the executive branch declined to enforce such a law, it would be “bad business”?

                    2. The executive doing it on their own? Yeah, that’d be bad. You don’t get to fuck up separation of powers just a little, as a treat.

                      Good policy 101: procedures don’t get exceptions due to extreme examples.

                      Of course, our system is not quite that dumb – in you scenario it would be quite easy to get an injunction against such a facially unconstitutional law.

                    3. Sarcastro….

                      OK… Just for clarification. If Congress passed a law, literally ENSLAVING African Americans, and the President said “No, that’s unconstitutional, I’m not implimenting it”

                      You think that would be “bad businesses” and bad policy? That the President would be wrong to not implimenting it?

                      Seriously? That’s your stance…..

                  2. The law, of course, does not violate the 14th amendment, Brett. The 14th amendment applies to states, and this is a federal program.

            2. Under the very common theory of Departmentalism, every branch gets to decide what is constitutional for itself, particularly when it comes to sections that apply to them. Only Congress decides when it is and isn’t in session, as SCOTUS had to remind Obama, in one example of this.

              1. Marbury dealt that a moral blow, and City of Boerne finished it off.

      2. the program is a pretty clear violation of 14A

        Same with reparations – it will be a violation of 14A –

        1. Depending on how reparations is done (if it ever is done), it may or may not violate the 14th Amendment. If there is a requirement to prove that one’s ancestors actually were slaves, as opposed to more recent arrivals, then payment would be made based on descent from slaves rather than race, and would probably be constitutional. Distinctions based on race are (usually) unconstitutional; distinctions based on servitude of one’s ancestors probably would not be.

          1. I suspect that the current Court would rule that, even in that case, actual slavery is too distant in the past to be the basis of such a law. I mean, slavery has been unconstitutional in the US for over 150 years now. Not only are there no surviving slaves, (The last of them died in the 70’s.) the last few children of slaves are dying off. Most of the people who’d claim those reparations would be great great grandchildren.

            Remember, they struck down Section 5 pre-clearance due to it being based on evidence only a third that dated.

            1. Maybe. The argument on the other side would be that slavery lived on through Jim Crow and other discriminatory actions. There was a county in Mississippi that was (in)famous, up until the 1960s, for outright fabricating tax deeds that allowed white buyers to seize black-owned real estate for pennies on the dollar, and any black landowner who tried to defend it was looking to get lynched. If you were black, and owned a property that a white person wanted, they simply paid off the county clerk to issue a fraudulent tax deed, you paid a pittance to redeem it, and the black owner just didn’t own the property any more.

              I’m not unsympathetic to claims that it’s unfair to expect people to pay reparations for what their ancestors did. On the other hand, I think your side tends to underestimate just how awfully blacks were treated, how long the ill treatment continued, and the extent to which their descendants continue to suffer from the effects of it.

              1. The argument isn’t just that it’s unfair to expect people to pay reparations for what their ancestors did. In many, perhaps most cases, it would be for what somebody else’s ancestors did!

                You can’t cure the constitutional deficiency on just one side of the ledger, you’d have to cure it on both sides.

                But the people pushing these proposals don’t want to cure it on either side, don’t think they should have to, because they’re stone cold racists.

                1. I’d add that, even assuming you did cure it on both sides, what are you doing?

                  Reinventing ‘corruption of the blood’, that’s what.

                  1. Brett, the claim that “they’re stone cold racists” may make you feel better, but it convinces nobody except the already converted. As I’ve said before, you’re hanging your hat on a politically charged definition of racist that not even most people on your side buy. It’s on the level with “Christians are Nazis” and “The Jews murdered Jesus.” And I’m not exaggerating; that really is how bad your racism claim is.

                    Here’s the question, boiled down to its essence: Are the lingering effects of slavery, Jim Crow, and other systemic racism still bad enough to justify compensating people from the public treasury. In point of fact, people get compensated from the public treasury all the time for a wide variety of things that most of the taxpayers had nothing to do with. This is not a novel concept. When a city pays out to settle a fatal police excessive force claim, almost none of the taxpayers had anything to do with it, and the people collecting weren’t the ones who were brutalized. But innocent taxpayers pay, and the people who collect weren’t the ones who suffered. Yet, it’s the right thing to do.

                    Now, we can have a conversation about whether that’s good policy, either in general or as applied to slavery reparations. But racist? Please stop embarrassing yourself.

                    1. Your opinion is, at least in part, colored by the proposition that racism is a one-way street.

                    2. “In point of fact, people get compensated from the public treasury all the time for a wide variety of things that most of the taxpayers had nothing to do with.”

                      It’s true that if a truck backs into my parked car, the owner of the truck will pay for the damage whether that owner is a private individual, a corporation, or the city. Note that driver, who is ultimately the person at fault, isn’t the person paying except in the special case where the driver is also a private individual.

                      That’s not controversial, but it is a poor analogy for reparations because it is case where determining who was harmed and how much harm was done is simple enough that paying for the new fender is an equitable resolution.

                      Let’s make a case for reparations: in WWII almost all of America’s combat casualties were men. This was because the U.S. had a blatantly discriminatory policy of compelling men, but not women, to engage in combat.

                      The logic of reparations is that those policies harmed men as a class, and so it is legitimate to compensate men today from the public treasury.

                      One can quibble at the edges, perhaps – after all, the granddaughter of a WWII vet is harmed as much as a grandson, so perhaps you’d need to trace family trees in complex ways. One might offset GI Bill benefits against reparations owed. Men who were 4F or not of military age didn’t suffer damages, etc, etc, ad infinitum.

                      I think though, that if one steps back and looks at the difficulty of trying to administer such a program, you are likely to decide that it is impossible to sort through the morass of details to come up with an equitable division of the spoils. That truck backing into this fender is pretty simple, as opposed to making the case that some bygone policy caused excess crumpled fenders disproportionately across groups two generations ago gets pretty hard to sort out in the present day.

                      For racial reparations, even when you do the genealogy, you still have to sort out that the grandparents were harmed in the 50’s, the kids benefited from affirmative action in the 70’s, and so now how much is owed the great grand kids?

                      Sometimes you just can’t unring the bell.

                    3. Libertymike, hell no. Blacks can be every bit as racist as whites, and when whites are discriminated against, there is caselaw (which I support) that whites are just as protected under the Fourteenth Amendment.

                      But what my position is founded on is that it’s simply tiresome that every time someone tries to do anything about fixing injustice (past or present) there is a certain set whose instinctive reaction is to point to that person and say “YOU are the real racist.” And no, people trying to fix injustice are not in the same camp as the people who caused the injustice, and it’s a canard (as well as a distraction) to call them racist.

                      Doesn’t mean they’re always right. I’ve heard plenty of proposals for remedying racial injustice that I thought were complete clunkers. But the people trying to fix the problem are not, themselves, the problem.

                    4. Absaroka, slavery and Jim Crow were uniquely awful, and comparing them to almost anything else is misplaced at best, offensive at worst. Plus, the WWII vets were compensated — they were paid, they got veterans benefits, and the ones who were injured received medical treatment and disability pay, so your analogy doesn’t even fit on the facts.

                      No, you can’t unring the bell, but neither should you pretend that it didn’t ring. I’m not convinced that reparations is ultimately the way to go, but not because it’s a racist idea. It isn’t. If we were to do reparations, I would actually be more inclined to invest in communities rather than make payments to individuals.

                    5. Absaroka

                      reperations are not restitution. They are not punitive; They are about redressing a currently unfair state of affairs, no more, not less.

                      Who knows if it’ll be constitutional, but calling it racist is begging the question-plus-melodrama that convinces no one and hurts debate.

                    6. It’s racist if you don’t think you need to inquire into the particulars of each recipient and fall guy.

                      If you look at somebody with dark skin, and automatically conclude that they and/or their ancestors were victims of slavery and Jim Crow, if you look at somebody with light skin, and automatically conclude that the own a debt due to slavery and Jim Crow, yeah, you’re a racist.

                    7. Sarcastro:

                      “Reparations:
                      noun
                      noun: reparation

                      1. the making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged.
                      “the courts required a convicted offender to make financial reparation to his victim””

                      And there you have the real problem. Making amends “for a wrong one has done”. “to his victim”.

                      Reparations, by definition, are paid to the one wronged, by the one who committed the wrong. This means that to demand reparations of somebody, by its very nature, is to accuse them.

                      That’s why people react so badly to the suggestion, it is an accusation. Unavoidably so, you have to be guilty to owe reparations.

                    8. Brett, that’s a strawman. “If you look at somebody with dark skin, and automatically conclude that they and/or their ancestors were victims of slavery and Jim Crow, if you look at somebody with light skin, and automatically conclude that the own a debt due to slavery and Jim Crow” is not an accurate description of the argument in favor of reparations.

                    9. Brett, you did not establish reoperations are restitution.

                      The fact that in your example the courts needed to specify the a convicted offender to make financial reparation to his victim means it’s not a part of the definition.

                      to demand reparations of somebody, by its very nature, is to accuse them.
                      No, this is a completely untrue strawman.

                    10. “Plus, the WWII vets were compensated — they were paid, they got veterans benefits, and the ones who were injured received medical treatment and disability pay, so your analogy doesn’t even fit on the facts.”

                      Ummmm…one can make that case for volunteers. I think it’s a weak argument even for volunteers – I know a number of people who volunteered during WWII, and all of them viewed it as an altruistic sacrifice, not signing up for a sweet gubmint gravy train.

                      That’s a weak argument, but it’s not applicable at all to someone who was conscripted and sent into combat. So what if the army supplied K rations – slave owners fed their slaves, too.

                      (just to be clear, I agree slavery is uniquely horrible, but that doesn’t make the logic of sorting out who owes what to whom at this late date any easier)

                    11. I think Absaroka clever hypothetical about the draft only applying to men is an illuminating one, but I don’t think it cuts the way he thinks.

                      What it shows is that mere discrimination based on immutable characteristics is not enough to invalidate an action. And certainly not enough to require reparations.
                      Lots of ways to distinguish it in both type and magnitude from the way black folks have been treated historically. Especially as being called on to defend one’s country is fundamentally tied up in notions of citizenship and social capitol.

                      And I think that’s borne out by the current national attitude regarding the draft in WW2 versus slavery. If that changes, maybe the thinking on reparations will change.

                      [Usual disclaimer – I’m not in favor of reparations, but I think the process of looking into it would be a salutary one]

                    12. Just to be clear, I’m not advocating for reparations for WWII vets. My father and uncles would roll in their graves at the thought.

                      And I’m not making a moral argument[1]. I’m making a practical one – that at this late date there is no way to equitably determine what they should be.

                      Suppose we did have a national aha! moment: ‘What were we thinking, sending kids off to die with nothing but a $10k insurance police and posthumous Purple Heart!’. How would we figure out who gets what. My father was shot at a lot (IIRC, half of the ships in his class of destroyers were sunk during the war). One uncle was drafted but served stateside, and another overseas but in the rear echelons. All of them survived intact, so we were a lucky family. If we were paying reparations, do I get more than my cousins, because Dad was frontline rather than support? What’s the differential for stateside vs overseas service? My sister in law’s father served on subs, with the appalling casualties they took. Do her kids get more than mine?
                      There is a lady in town who is the ??great niece?? of Herman Goering. Do you count that against whatever U.S. service members are in her family tree? It all just gets too complicated to be feasible, and WWII is a simpler situation than centuries of slavery and Jim Crow.

                      —————-
                      [1]I don’t really get into the morality – I think it is one of those things like whether a just fertilized egg is a human. You either think it is or isn’t (I’m in the ‘isn’t’ camp), but I’m not sure that decision is one people can be persuaded about.

                      In the case of reparations, it depends on whether you fundamentally view people as individuals or members of groups. If you are in the ‘individual’ camp, having A pay B because GrampsA backed into GrampsB’s fender is pretty obviously wrong. If OTOH you primarily view A as a member of GroupA, and GroupA historically did bad things to GroupB, then it’s a lot easier to see having today’s GroupA pay today’s GroupB for what GroupA did years ago. But, like when an egg becomes a human, once you adopt either the individual or group approach, you have largely made the decision about reparations.

                    13. I think it is one of those things like whether a just fertilized egg is a human. You either think it is or isn’t

                      It’s obviously a human. What else might it be – a kangaroo ?

                      The “one of those things” questions is whether it is a human with some moral worth, and if so how much.

          2. distinctions based on servitude of one’s ancestors probably would not be

            I think that scheme is liable to run smack into into RBG’s yarmulka.

    2. My guess is that there’s a faction within the Democratic party establishment that’s trying to build up a track record of legislation being struck down by the Court, to justify Court packing.

      1. Or just tooting on the virtue signalling trumpet for the sake of it.

  9. An entire thread there the leftist commentators are implicitly admitting there is a slippery slope on race. I’m breathless.

    1. Not so much slippery as actively coated with grease.

    2. Slippery slope to what? White Slavery? Replacement?

      What are you talking about?

  10. Struggling to see how Biden’s “program” is any different than Chicago Aldermen “Hinky Dink” McKenna and “Bathhouse” John Coughlin sitting in their saloon/polling place/crib joint in Chicago in 1905 and buying every voter a beer to vote Democrat and a shot after they voted “the right way”?

    1. Buying the votes of black people seems rather a waste of money, eh?

      1. 1. every little helps
        2. voting totals reflect “post purchase” inclinations, you cannot assume that’s identical to “pre-purchase” inclinations
        3. a lunch is free when someone else is paying

Please to post comments