Sunday, July 08, 2007

Who's Behind The Integration Decision?

It's the Pacific Legal Foundation, champion of right-wing causes for 35 years.

by Mark Tushnet - July 7th, 2007 - Los Angeles Times

THE SEATTLE school integration case decided by the Supreme Court last month was brought in the name of a group called Parents Involved in Community Schools on behalf of Jill Kurfirst and her ninth-grade son. But it was a little-known, Sacramento-based organization called the Pacific Legal Foundation — a conservative public interest law firm involved in the case from the beginning — that developed many of the legal arguments five justices ultimately found persuasive.

Where did the foundation come from? The story begins with former Justice Lewis F. Powell. Shortly before he was nominated to the court in 1971, Powell, then a Virginia lawyer, wrote a memo to a friend at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce titled "Attack on the American Free Enterprise System." In it, Powell worried that liberal groups had nurtured specialist lawyers and developed litigation strategies to defend government regulation. Businesses, he argued, were suffering because they had a "disposition to appease" and weren't able to present a countervailing view of what constituted the public interest.

Powell's memo prodded the business community to help create a number of not-for-profit law firms devoted to arguing a conservative point of view. Ronald Zumbrun and Raymond Momboise, former advisors to California Gov. Ronald Reagan, founded the first one — the Pacific Legal Foundation — in 1973. On its website today, the foundation says it exists to fight "tyranny" engendered by "overzealous bureaucracies and government red tape" and that it is a foe of "government regulators and environmental extremists."

Fighting for freedom is becoming the most important focus of the conservative movement. A problem has been that conservatives have been led down many wrong paths in recent times. Momentary passions have been the focus of much energy and they have not always resulted in victories that have mattered in the long term.

To a great extent that is because conservatives keep getting wrapped up in the momentary passion of legal issues for a secondary goal and forget that what is important is about a greater goal, freedom. One problem is big business. Big business is not the friend of freedom. Big business is not the friend of conservatives. The desire for freedom of conservative individuals and the goal of small business, a competitive landscape which allows for free enterprise to exist, were subverted to the goals of big business. Big business sought "tort reform through judicial restrictions on punitive damages and interpreting national statutes in a business-friendly manner to reduce and eliminate penalties for business misconduct . . . restricting federal power, putting constitutional limits on regulation and fighting environmental regulation . . . "

As long as conservatives espouse the goals of big business the short term goals become destructive of more important issues. Big business is opposed to free enterprise which requires competition to work. People always seem surprised when I point this out. It is easy to see what I mean though. Big business gives twice as much money to democrats as it does to Republicans. Since democrats are the party of socialism it makes no sense until you understand that big business is opposed to competition. The more government regulations there are the more burden there is on the small business and the less competition big business faces. Big business only cares about the type of regulation. As long as big business embraces socialism, democrats embrace big business.

What does this have to do with integration? The article here is talking about the feasibility of this Supreme Court decision actually making lives better for children by getting school systems to stop wasting energy fighting battles over how many black children are seated in certain classrooms and instead fighting battles over how many black children can read and do math. To make that happen this legal victory must be followed by many more battles in BOE and PTA meetings all over our land. Conservatives need a plan of how to turn these battles into battles that increase freedom for our nation and our people. Big business will not fund that campaign. Indivduals and small business will because they care about the important issue of freedom.

It is the slowly encroaching slavery of socialism that we need to fear. Socialism is still the goal of the liberals who wasted two generations arguing that how many black children were seated in a classroom determined whether they could read. They won their stated goal even though many of these children still cannot read. Their bureaucracies are still in place in our school systems and they will find new ways to subvert freedom until we fight the right battles and win. They are still aligned with big business. No single Supreme Court Victory will change that.


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