Thursday, June 25, 2009

Do Minorities Believe in Protecting Their Rights?

The Supreme Court today ruled 8-1 that then 13-year old Savana Redding’s 4th amendment rights were violated when her school strip searched her looking for prescription strength drugs they believed she was holding. What struck me as odd in this ruling is that ALL, but one justice found Redding’s rights had been violated EXCEPT Justice Clarence Thomas. Even today, Thomas’ name conjures cackles from folks who remember the scandal that surrounded his confirmation hearings. Thomas is no youngster and must remember the struggle of minorities to enjoy the same rights as White Americans, yet he is the judge who repeatedly appears to rule in favor of obliterating an individual’s rights OR ignoring when they’re being violated. As I read the ruling, I was filled with sadness that the only glaring supporter of strip-searching a 13-year old girl after documents showed she waited more than two-hours outside the office of the school’s Vice-Principal’s without so much as a call to her parents was Justice Thomas. Justice Ginsburg wrote, “Abuse of authority of that order should not be shielded by official immunity.” Justice Thomas simply said that the majority’s finding second-guesses the measures that educators take to maintain discipline “and ensure the health and safety of the students in their charge.” When a man of color believes that giving up rights to ensure safety is a plausible course of action something is definitely wrong. I ask myself if it matters whether we’re speaking of a justice on the supreme court or a person flipping burgers at Burger King, "Do minorities feel worthy of having equal rights?" To be clear, there wasn’t any mention of the race of Savana Redding; my concern is from the standpoint of a Supreme Court Justice upholding actions that minimize or obliterate someone’s rights.

On Blast
Clarence Thomas succeeded Justice Thurgood Marshall – the first ever African American Supreme Court Justice. Do you believe Justice Marshall would approve of Supreme Court decisions made by Justice Thomas?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

1 comment:

That Dude Right There said...

Justice Marshall is surely rolling over in his grave!