This Friday at 5 pm Pacific time (8 pm Eastern), we’ll be doing a live taping of the Three Whisky Happy Hour podcast for our VIP members via Zoom, with me and “Lucretia” talking about what’s up with equality under the law. In addition to some planned topics, we’ll be taking live audience questions. (Where we take them is another question. . .)
Specifically, I sent to Lucretia the New York Times op-ed earlier in the week about a new biography of Justice John Marshall Harlan, which includes this passage about his great dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson:
“Our Constitution is colorblind and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens,” [Harlan] wrote in its most famous passage. “In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful. The law regards man as man and takes no account of his surroundings or his color when his civil rights as guaranteed by the supreme law of the land are involved. …”
Nearly six decades later, when the Supreme Court finally overruled Plessy v. Ferguson in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, many people, even in white America, agreed that Harlan had been right all along.
The problem is, this summary account is wrong. Harlan’s Plessy dissent was most emphatically not incorporated in Brown or subsequent civil rights cases, but everybody thinks it was. (If it had been truly embraced in Brown, affirmative action would have been struck down decades ago.)
If you’re a regular listener, you can guess Lucretia’s uncompromising reaction to the Times piece! Here’s one part of it: “I find the NYT piece more damaging to the cause of equality before the law even than critical race theory.”
You’ll have to tune in to hear why, and much more. VIPs will get an email with the live link Friday afternoon.
So if you’re not a VIP member this is a great time to sign up; it’s cheap, and you get ad-free access to the rest of the site and other occasional premiums. (Note: Our subscription portal is down for maintenance this morning, but should be back up shortly. Check back later today.)
Oh, one other note: with this week, I’m resuming the old long-form interview podcast format. My first guests will include the great Fred Barnes, and energy guru Robert Bryce. If I can keep it up, the Power Line podcast will go to twice a week.