At 25, this child of immigrants was just elected to Congress
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Generation Z officially has a seat in Congress.
Maxwell Alejandro Frost, a 25-year-old Democrat, won his election on Tuesday in Florida’s 10th Congressional District over Calvin Wimbish, a Republican, according to The Associated Press. Mr. Frost will represent the Orlando-area seat being vacated by Representative Val Demings, the Democratic nominee for senator, who lost her race.
His victory means that the next Congress will include one member of Generation Z, whose oldest members were born in 1997 and are newly eligible for the House, which has a minimum age of 25. The other Gen Z candidate on the ballot on Tuesday, Karoline Leavitt, a Republican, lost in New Hampshire’s First Congressional District.
“The perspective I bring as a young person, as a young Black person, as a young Black Latino person from the South, is important,” Mr. Frost said in an interview with The New York Times late Tuesday night. But he added that he saw himself as “a small piece of a really big puzzle” composed of members of Gen Z who are becoming more influential in many areas of society.
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Progressives can’t let the Supreme Court win
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As the Supreme Court deliberated on Monday over the legality of race-conscious college admissions, Justice Elena Kagan gave voice to a patriotic skepticism: “I thought that part of what it meant to be an American and to believe in American pluralism is that actually our institutions are reflective of who we are as a people in all our variety.” While affirmative action in college admissions may go by the wayside now that such matters are entirely tied to the whims of the high court’s conservative supermajority, Kagan managed to illuminate an underappreciated truth about constitutional interpretation: How we choose to interpret our founding legal document reflects and shapes who we are as a people—and who we want to be.
In the cases before the court, Students for Fair Admissions v. UNC and Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, the petitioners claim that the admissions policies at Harvard and University of North Carolina are unsupported by the Fourteenth Amendment’s original meaning. This exposes two competing visions for our country. We can preserve a stratified society by viewing the Constitution as an obstacle that categorically constrains race-conscious remedial policies, or we can see the Constitution for what it really is: a document that fully embraces multiracial democracy and actively facilitates its existence.
Read the story on New Republic
The Supreme Court wants to erase Native kid’s ancestry
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It’s racist against white people and racist against Native Americans. It keeps neglected Native children out of the loving arms of white parents. It’s the federal government overstepping and trampling states’ rights. These are the outlandish charges being made against the 44-year-old federal law known as the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA). On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Haaland v. Brackeen, a case manufactured to take down ICWA. Gibson Dunn, a law firm best known as a good friend of powerful corporations, is leading the charge against Native families—and handling the case for free.
Contrary to the right-wing conspiracy theory underlying the challenge, ICWA was not designed to keep Indian children in dangerous Indian households at all costs. In fact, the placement priorities of ICWA only come into play once a determination of child safety has already been made. What ICWA does do is model best practices such as requiring legal cause to be shown for termination of parental rights, prioritizing children’s placement with extended family, and valuing preservation of a child’s heritage by keeping them within their culture when possible. This is especially urgent to stanch the loss of indigenous identity through generations of previous disastrous child welfare policy.
Read the story on Slate
SCOTUS’ troubled treatment of Asian Americans
Jeannie Suk Gersen is the John H. Watson, Jr., Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She served as a law clerk to Justice David H. Souter on the Supreme Court and as a prosecutor in Manhattan.
On Monday, I was at the Supreme Court for five hours of oral arguments on affirmative action. In constitutional debates about the issue, both sides like to lay claim to Justice John Marshall Harlan’s celebrated dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson—the 1896 case that notoriously held that requiring separate train cars for Black and white passengers did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment, and that was eventually overruled in Brown v. Board of Education. Harlan wrote, “In view of the Constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.” Predictably, the plaintiff in the two current affirmative-action cases, Students for Fair Admissions, takes the “color-blind” language to mean that the equal-protection clause forbids all racial classifications for any purpose, including race-based affirmative action. The defendants, Harvard and the University of North Carolina, along with the U.S. government as amicus, instead take the anti-caste idea to prohibit subjugation based on notions of racial inferiority—which surely allows race-conscious measures to insure diversity.
Read the story on New Yorker
The Sad Death of Affirmative Action
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