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February 23, 2005

SCOTUS speaks on racial segregation in prison

Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog has here the key highlights of today's Supreme Court ruling in Johnson v. California, No. 03-636 (S. Ct. Feb. 23, 2005) (syllabus here), which addresses the constitutionality of the California Department of Corrections' unwritten policy of racially segregating prisoners as they enter a new correctional facility.  The Court holds that strict scrutiny is the applicable standard and then remands.

Though the Johnson decision will be of interest mostly to folks concerned with corrections and/or equal protection doctrine, a quick skim reveals notable dicta in all the Johnson opinions.  Especially catching my eye is Justice O'Connor's statement for the majority that the CDC's rule must be subject to strict scrutiny or else the Court "would undermine our 'unceasing efforts to eradicate racial prejudice from our criminal justice system.'  McCleskey v. Kemp, 481 U.S. 279, 309 (1987)."  (I trust my students will appreciate the irony of citing to and quoting from McClesky for this proposition.)

February 23, 2005 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

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Stevens, l'un des juges les plus libéraux, a refusé de signer l'opinion de la majorité. Pour lui, cette politique est clairement inconstitutionnelle parce qu'elle opère des distinctions inapropriées sur une base raciale. La majorité (5 juges) [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 27, 2005 6:34:50 AM

Comments

McCleskey..."yeaaaahhh, we'll acknowlege that the system is racially biased, buuuuuut...whatever, no biggie."

Analogous to CJ Rehnquist claiming that previous gender-based equal protection cases shouldn't be used to decide cases wherein the discrimination is against MEN, while simultaneously pushing for the metaphorical color-blind society when it comes to Affirmative Action programs and "reverse" discrimination against whites.

Irony, yes. But with a wink and a nod, or with a poker face? Hmmmm....

Posted by: BuckeyeLawGuy | Feb 23, 2005 7:47:19 PM

I am having trouble finding lower court cases pertaining to racial segregation in prisons. If possible, could you help?

Posted by: Kristen | Sep 29, 2006 3:54:51 PM

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Posted by: | Oct 14, 2008 8:17:39 AM

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