The media lit up after last week’s momentous news of the Supreme Court narrowly preserving Obamacare and establishing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
Less noticed was a potentially more significant ruling in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project. This decision, which affirmed the right to claim housing discrimination based on “disparate impact,” left the door open for equal housing advocates to litigate over statistics rather than discriminatory intent. The ripple effect of this decision will surely be felt more broadly than that of the others.
Although the Court went great lengths to define limits, it refused to undo what the White House considers an essential tool to ferret out more subtle, equally pernicious forms of discrimination.
So fearful had the Obama administration been of an adverse decision that it had cut deals to keep the question of disparate impact out of the nation’s highest court. With a ruling in his favor, the president can now move forward with his agenda to re-engineer the composition of our neighborhoods. The federal government will begin to take “affirmative” steps to coerce demographic change.
For the progressive movement, it is not enough that American society forsake discrimination. To cleanse the sins of our racist past, our zip codes must comply with preordained metrics of diversity. Developers, financiers, and even public housing agencies are racist if their activity results in statistics which do not live up to the multicultural ideal. Never mind that the rational choices of free citizens may lead them to cluster with people who look and live as they do.
Sadly, disparate impact is just another example of progressive disrespect for the individual.
Consider President Obama’s signature domestic achievement, the Affordable Care Act. Individuals are not permitted to purchase health insurance that meets their needs if the policies do not meet the government’s mandated standards. Apparently, people simply do not understand what the government knows is good for them, including the absurdity of maternity coverage for men and for women who cannot get pregnant.
Generations of children are trapped in public schools that do more to protect the livelihood of staff than the education of students. Should parents be allowed to choose another school that works better for them? Not according to the teachers unions and their guardians in the Democratic party establishment, who claim school choice undermines public education. Their solution is to throw more of your money at failing schools.
But at least the teachers unions speak for their members, right? Some workers think it makes sense to join a union, while others do not. So we can let them vote with a secret ballot, where they decide for themselves which way to go, right? Think again. President Obama, an original co-sponsor of the dubiously named Employee Free Choice Act, would rather unionization decisions be made in public. Under this legislation, employees would only sign a card to authorize the union — and have no free choice to decide privately in accordance with their conscience.
Who is really threatening the American worker: an employer, who has no access to authorization cards or ballots, or union bosses, who know exactly which employees have refused to sign a card?
If you think the liberal elite strong-arm the population merely to help ill-informed poor and working classes, you should take a look at our prestigious universities, training grounds for our best and brightest. In the academy the left’s authoritarian tendencies have soared to unparalleled heights. Students are deemed too helpless and fragile to hear ideas that diverge from politically correct orthodoxy. Nonconforming speakers must be harrassed or “disinvited,” and students must be afforded “safe rooms” to shield their tender ears from classroom lectures that challenge their beliefs.
Yesterday Facebook was awash in celebratory posts about the monumental leap forward for American society. Like it or not, the Court enshrined a constitutional “freedom to marry” by judicial fiat, short-circuiting the democratic process that was trending toward marriage equality on its own. It remains to be seen whether the imposition of a mandate by unelected jurists ushers in challenges to religious freedom and other liberties we hold dear.
The left claims to honor human freedom and dignity but its methods disparage individual liberty at every turn. When we put more faith in government than ourselves, we invite tyranny.