I was reading this interesting profile of Ed Blum and Burt Rein in the Washington Post (see also this earlier very informative profile of Blum in the Texas Tribune/NYT). And then there was this at the end of the piece after discussing his work in the Fisher case (which could well bring down affirmative action in the U.S.):
Rein is also the lead lawyer in another case Blum brought to the firm, Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder, which challenges parts of the federal Voting Rights Act that require local governments to seek federal approval before making changes to voting laws — a rule put into place during the civil rights era to prevent racial discrimination in voting. The case was argued in January, and is awaiting a decision from the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
“These are important cases but … we are not engaged in an ideological pro bono crusade,” Rein said.
He said the firm decided to take on the Fisher case because the high court’s 2003 decision — which allows universities to consider race in admissions to promote diversity — left room for further clarification on how race preferences should apply under different circumstances.
“There’s always been a question about how much preference Grutter condones and it seemed like a fair matter for litigation,” Rein said. “We believed we would be assisting the courts and the academic community to straighten it out.”
As John Oliver would say, “Are you kidding me?!?” Not ideological? To provide “clarification”? To “assist the courts and the academic community”? Make no mistake: these two cases could be the most important race-related cases for the Roberts Court, and they could well mark the beginning of the end of federal legislation seeking to undo centuries of discrimination against African Americans and others.
I say that in a non-ideological way. That last paragraph was just for clarification.