The Red, White and Brew: SCOTUS Nixes Race-Based Admissions, Expands Religious Liberty … and Is Set to Tick Off Someone in the Culture War

By Al Perrotta Published on June 30, 2023

Welcome to the red, white and Brew! The kickoff to the Independence Day Weekend.

It was a hot time at the High Court Thursday.

SCOTUS Boots Race-Based College Admissions

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that colleges cannot use race as a basis for admissions, effectively putting an end to “affirmative action” on campuses. More accurately, an end to racially discriminatory admissions practices. The vote was 6-3.

The New York Times had a typical progressive reaction.

The black background with white lettering is a bit dramatic, don’t you think?

Kinda sad for the NYT to assume non-Asian people of color can’t earn their way into top schools. But chin up, NYT. Your liberal campuses will still be able to keep out students and speakers that do not toe the progressive line. In fact, applicants who throw a few dozen personal pronouns on their application should be fine.

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Seriously, what students can still do is explain in their admissions essays how race has impacted their life. This, as Daily Caller explains, is how schools can skirt the SCOTUS decision … even if Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority opinion stated indirect use of race is still unconstitutional.

Harvard is already making clear it’ll get skin color in there somehow. Though good luck if you’re a conservative of color.

Biden Questions Legitimacy of The Court

You know how questioning the bias of a Justice or questioning whether an election was clean is a “threat to democracy”? How about a president questioning the legitimacy of the Supreme Court? Yup. Joe Biden went there.

After saying he “strongly, strongly” disagrees with the decision, Biden was asked on his way out of the room, “Is this a rogue court?”

After a pause, he replied, “This is not a normal court.” Then left the room.

Before he left, the President had a July 4th message for the country.

(Yeah. That’s why Asian students took Harvard to court. And won.)

Biden’s triple emphasis on “discrimination” is part of his new campaign slogan: “Make America a Scapegoat Again.” (We made that up.)

Barack Obama was at it as well, saying his “heart breaks” for the young people “wondering what their future holds” after this decision.

Sen. Tim Scott blasted Obama’s remarks, saying,

Sending the message that somehow the color of your skin means that you will not be able to achieve your goals from an educational perspective, from an income perspective or family formation, that is a lie from the pit of hell. We will not be judged solely by the color of our skin. That’s what the ruling said today. But that is the story of America. That is a story of American progress and we can all celebrate that today.

Clarence Thomas’ Powerful Defense of the Individual

In a rare move, Justice Clarence Thomas read his concurrence from the bench. (As did Justice Sonia Sotomayor.) Thomas used a hefty chunk of his opinion to take Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to school.

In her dissent, Justice Jackson — who only got the gig because of her race and her sex (even if she can’t define what a woman is) — painted a portrait of a systematically racist America. Justice Clarence Thomas wrecked her for attempting to consign blacks to “perpetual victimhood.” These excerpts are worth the read:

Rather than focusing on individuals as individuals, her dissent focuses on the historical subjugation of black Americans, invoking statistical racial gaps to argue in favor of defining and categorizing individuals by their race. As she sees things, we are all inexorably trapped in a fundamentally racist society, with the original sin of slavery and the historical subjugation of black Americans still determining our lives today.

In fact, on her view, almost all of life’s outcomes may be unhesitatingly ascribed to race.. This is so, she writes, because of statistical disparities among different racial groups. Even if some whites have a lower household net worth than some blacks, what matters to JUSTICE JACKSON is that the average white household has more wealth than the average black household.

This lore is not and has never been true. Even in the segregated South where I grew up, individuals were not the sum of their skin color. Then as now, not all disparities are based on race; not all people are racist; and not all differences between individuals are ascribable to race. Put simply, “the fate of abstract categories of wealth statistics is not the same as the fate of a given set of flesh-and-blood human beings.” Worse still, JUSTICE JACKSON uses her broad observations about statistical relationships between race and select measures of health, wealth, and well-being to label all blacks as victims. Her desire to do so is unfathomable to me. …

Nor do JUSTICE JACKSON’s statistics regarding a correlation between levels of health, wealth, and well-being between selected racial groups prove anything. Of course, none of those statistics are capable of drawing a direct causal link between race — rather than socioeconomic status or any other factor — and individual outcomes. So JUSTICE JACKSON supplies the link herself: the legacy of slavery and the nature of inherited wealth. This, she claims, locks blacks into a seemingly perpetual inferior caste. Such a view is irrational; it is an insult to individual achievement and cancerous to young minds seeking to push through barriers, rather than consign themselves to permanent victimhood.

You can read the entire SCOTUS opinion HERE.

Another Big Victory for Religious Freedom at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court delivered a unanimous victory to a former postal worker who, despite his religious objects, was forced to work Sundays. Gerald Groff’s lawyers argued the USPS should have made accommodations for his religious beliefs under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The law calls for accommodation unless doing so would cause an “undue hardship” on the company. A 1977 decision dramatically reduced the “undue hardship” requirement, gutting religious protections for workers. Yesterday’s decision rolled back the precedent, greatly strengthening the rights of employees of faith.

As Catholic News Agency explained:

The court rejected the “de minimis” interpretation of the “Hardison Standard,” which has been used to deny employees’ religious accommodation requests if they present more than a “trivial cost” to the employer.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the law requires companies to show a “substantial” burden if they wish to deny a religious accommodation.

Will be interesting to see how this decision impacts employees canned for refusing to take the Jab.

Big Day Today at the Court Too

The Supreme Court wraps up its business for the term with two hot button doozies.

303 Creative v. Ellis concerns a web designer who doesn’t want to make custom websites for same-sex weddings in violation of her religious beliefs.

Biden v. Nebraska concerns whether Joe Biden usurped Congress’s authority by unilaterally “forgiving” billions in student loans in the run-up to the 2022 midterms. We put “forgiving” loans in quotes, because it’s not forgiving a loan if you are forcing innocent, hard-working folk to pay it.

Along The Stream

Stream editor and best-selling military author Tom Sileo kicks off our Independence Day Weekend with “Fourth of July: Honoring Freedom’s Defenders.”

John Zmirak can only conclude that “Progressive Christians Want to Watch the Church Burn.”


Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream, chief barista for The Brew and co-author, with John Zmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration. You can follow him at @StreamingAl at GETTR, Gab, Parler, and now at TRUTH Social.

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