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A Trump-appointed judge criticized critical race theory in a case, saying similar race-based fixations could endorse racism.
5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge James Ho described "neutral policies" such as disparate impact theory and critical race theory as unintentionally discriminatory and said Congress, not judges or agency officials, should be the entity to implement such programs.
"There's a big difference between prohibiting racial discrimination and endorsing disparate impact theory," Ho wrote in the six-page concurrence. "It's the difference between securing equality of opportunity regardless of race and guaranteeing equality of outcome based on race."
"It's the difference between color blindness and critical race theory," he added.
Critical race theory and other closely related ideologies hold that the United States is inherently racist and that skin color is used to create and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites. Critics claim it relegates all white people to the role of oppressors and all people of color to that of victims.
The judge, who was confirmed during former President Donald Trump’s first year in office, said despite how well-intentioned the programs might be, they conflict with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in federally funded programs.
"It's said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions," he said. "That's why we have laws on the books, like Title VI, that simply forbid the 'sordid business' of 'divvying us up by race' — no matter what our intentions.”
"Congress enacted Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit intentional racial discrimination — not to restrict neutral policies untainted by racial intent that happen to lead to racially disproportionate outcomes," Ho wrote in the concurrence.
Critical race theory could be ill-motivated by some advocates, he suggested.
"For disparate impact advocates, requiring discrimination may not be a problem — it may be the whole point," Ho said, adding that black, Latino, and other nonwhite groups could receive preferential treatment as a result of race-based theories.
Ho’s argument was similar to that of his colleague U.S. Circuit Judge Edith Jones in the three-judge panel, which agreed to a trial court’s dismissal of a civil rights abuse allegation by Manning Rollerson, a black property owner in the East End neighborhood of Freeport, Texas.
The city was violating Rollerson's civil rights as they were assisting Port Freeport to purchase land from the historically black neighborhood to complete a harbor improvement project, Jones said.
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Original Author: Lawrence Richard