Professor Jonathan Turley may be a liberal but he’s also a genuine constitutional expert who has testified on the founding document before Congress, as well as other official venues.
His knowledge of the Constitution is virtually unrivaled, and in any legitimate forum, he’s considered a schooled expert not only on the document’s amendments and provisions but the founders’ intent behind them.
So when he speaks on the subject, it’s hard to refute him. That is especially true when the person attempting to refute Turley is the current president of the United States.
President Joe Biden reacted with predictable (scripted) anger on Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court determined that race-based college admission standards are a blatant violation of the Constitution’s most basic equal protection clauses.
In an interview on MSNBC’s hyper-left-wing host of “Deadline: White House,” Biden accused the court of ignoring what “the Constitution says: We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men and women are created equal, endowed by their creator.”
That’s actually not in the Constitution — that’s the Declaration of Independence. But nevertheless, as Turley noted, the Constitution reflects that fundamental element of equality.
“In declaring that this Court was not ‘normal,’ Biden further insisted that these admissions decisions and the Dobbs abortion decision reversed the gains that ‘we fought a war over in 1860’ to secure,” Turley wrote on his website.
He noted further:
In barring the use of race in admissions, the Court believed that it was protecting that very guarantee. It erased what the Court viewed as a glaring anomaly in its cases in the treatment of racial discrimination in education as opposed to employment. It was the capstone opinion for Chief Justice John Roberts who in 2017declared: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” In 2006, Roberts added: “It is a sordid business, this divvying us up by race.”
The Court was enforcing what it saw as the “self-evident” guarantee referenced in the Declaration and later protected in the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court reaffirmed that all men and women are created equal and will be treated equally in both education and employment.
The President is not alone in such hyperbole. Figures like Whoopi Goldberg actually asked whether the decision means that we are “heading to no women in colleges soon? Who knows.”
We actually do know. An opinion rejecting the use of racial classification to determine who goes to college could not be read by anyone as endorsing the exclusion of other groups.
The truly baffling statement was Biden’s claims over the Civil War. By leaving questions like abortion to the states, Biden claims that the Court was reversing what was gained in that war. The criticism came in response to an opinion insisting that there is no place for racial discrimination in higher education. That would hardly seem an argument that would be embraced by the Confederacy.
Turley then went for the gusto: “One can have good-faith disagreements on whether the use of racial criteria is constitutional affirmative action or unconstitutional racial discrimination. However, Biden is belittling our prior struggles for equality with these sweeping and erroneous claims.”