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Read opinions of the high court

July 10, 2007

Re "Which side is Brown vs. Board on?" Opinion, July 4

Kenneth W. Mack shows, albeit unwittingly, why we must read the Supreme Court opinions rather than trust someone else to tell us what's in them. Mack wants us to think that Justice John Marshall Harlan's famous quip, "Our Constitution is colorblind" -- loses its rhetorical power when placed side by side with Harlan's approval, in the same case, of denying citizenship to members of "the Chinese race." But Harlan explained his belief in colorblind constitutionalism by saying that "all citizens are equal before the law." Citizens. The bit about the Chinese people then in no way detracts from the famous quip. It's apples and oranges.

Those who have read Harlan's opinion, rather than relying on Mack's retelling, rightly appreciate Justice Clarence Thomas' tireless invocation of our colorblind Constitution.

DENNIS MURASHKO

Chicago

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