Blogs > Cliopatria > Howard N. Meyer: Justice Denied

Jul 10, 2007 9:42 pm


Howard N. Meyer: Justice Denied



[The writer's book "The Amendment that Refused to Die" was nominated for the 1973 Pulitzer Prize, and its Third edition of 2002 is in print.]

To the Editor of the New York Times:

The eloquent editorial, "Justice Denied" (JULY 5)
correctly says that the Supreme Court Court has been
"shutting the courthouse door on individuals and ideals that
truly need the [C]ourt's shelter,"

There is something more that must be said.

It may not be widely understood that the Warren Court's
interpretation of the Constitution was entirely justified by the
intent of the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Amendment was "strangled in infancy"
(in the words of Justice Powell's separate and prevailing
opinion in the Bakke case) by "judicial reaction." and nearly died.

Reinvigorated by the growth of popular understanding, fed by
the activism of people like Homer Plessy and his lawyer,
Albion Tourgee, the Amendment was gradually being reborn
prior to the arrival of Chief Earl Warren.

As so few understood at the time, Waren's court built on that.
They did not invent anything. The Warren Court followed the trend of the decisions of the Hughes and Stone Courts, that aimed to help the Fourteeth accompish what the 1868 framers sought.

Former Attorney General Meese refused to accept the his-
torical facts. As the TIMES news columns told us, before the
Senate voted, the Bush designees were disciples of Meese.
Too many senators failed to act on this, and Roberts and Alito
slipped by.



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