Patterico's Pontifications

8/17/2005

Extra! Justice Ginsburg Lived in Neighborhood that Once Used Restrictive Covenants! (Oh — So Did John Roberts)

Filed under: General,Judiciary,Media Bias,Morons — Patterico @ 7:20 pm



The AP reports some blockbuster news:

Like many towns across America, the exclusive lakefront community where Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. grew up during the racially turbulent 1960s and ’70s once banned the sale of homes to nonwhites and Jews.

Pretty shocking stuff. Of course, as the article acknowledges, the Roberts’s house “did not include a racially restrictive covenant,” and such covenants “had begun fading away” by 1966, the year they moved in. This little fact has led some wingnuts to ask: “what the hell is the point of bringing it up?” These right-wing nutcases don’t get it. The neighborhood once had them! . . . so, you know, it’s RELEVANT, dammit!

Well, I hate to be picking on Ruth Bader Ginsburg all the time, but I have some shocking news to report.

It appears that, like many towns across America, the community where Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg grew up also used covenants to keep the neighborhood homogenous.

You heard it here first. Ginsburg grew up in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. According to this site, her Brooklyn neighborhood “consisted mostly of poor, working class Jewish, Italian, and Irish immigrants.” No blacks there!

Here’s the shocker: Flatbush had also had restrictive covenants at one point. A New York Sun article advises that “Victorian Flatbush, of which South Midwood is a part . . . was settled in the late 19th century by affluent Protestant families who used covenants to keep the area homogenous.” (“Victorian Flatbush” is a part of Flatbush.) The Sun explains further: “During the 1930s, increasing numbers of Irish and Jewish professional families moved in.” Irish and Jewish families — but no blacks!

I hereby call for the impeachment of Justice Ginsburg. Who’s with me?

P.S. By the way, the covenants probably just had to do with how the houses looked, not the race of the people who lived in the neighborhood. [But see the UPDATE below.] That doesn’t make my news any less relevant than the story about Roberts. Either story is about as relevant as saying they once lived in neighborhoods with rapists and murderers.

UPDATE: In a comment below, Xrlq notes evidence in the story that the covenants were indeed racially restrictive covenants on sales after all.

34 Responses to “Extra! Justice Ginsburg Lived in Neighborhood that Once Used Restrictive Covenants! (Oh — So Did John Roberts)”

  1. Unlike the Kennedys and Kerrys who always had people of color around them. Cleaning toilets, serving drinks, basking in equality.

    Lew Clark (e7ce98)

  2. It was lame enough when liberals made an issue of Justice Rehnquist owning property that did include a racially restrictive covenant everyone and his brother knew to be unenforceable. Making an issue of John Roberts owning property that didn’t is nonsense on stilts.

    Xrlq (ca1ad5)

  3. Me too. All 157 of us in my little village, our families owning our farmland since 1832, no written restrictive covenants but no real heterogeneity to speak of — there go my chances to make it to the Supreme Court. This story is more of a parody than a straight story. “Ridiculous” is too mild a word.

    nk (d5dd10)

  4. Growing up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, circa 1960 and just before legal drinking age, 18 at the time, we discovered a very liberal bar in Flatbush, still can recall the name, Ma Hays’. Now it sounds pretty Irish and it was, but to a bunch of 17 year olds growing up in an Irish and Scandinavian neighborhood, we discovered something very exotic at that tavern: Jewish girls. And many of them were very liberal…beautiful too. Geez there’s a long list of well known people who grew up in Flatbush.

    Paul (a434f2)

  5. I just hope we never get a judge or president from one of them states that allowed slavery, or fought a war over slavery. Slavery is down right rude, and those guys have no place on the Supreme Court or in the White House.

    Shredstar (e73f56)

  6. That makes the point more simply than I have. Thanks.

    Patterico (756436)

  7. What do you expect with the history of slavery in the Brooklyn’s Flatbush area beginning with the Dutch and not outlawed in New York State until 1827. It’s a wonder that any justices were confirmed from New York with that legacy, don’t you think?

    capitano (f6cfb0)

  8. […] A: That neither the first nor the second group of liberal Democrats cared a whit that a third Supreme Court nominee (actually the second one, chronologically speaking) also owned a property that also didn’t contain an undisclosed, unenforceable-since-1948 racially restrictive covenant, but which was also located in an area where such covenants were once common. […]

    damnum absque injuria » Dumb and Dumberererer (38c04c)

  9. ” (”Victorian Flatbush” is a part of Flatbush.)”

    Is it the part her family was in?

    actus (5b2f21)

  10. Is it the part her family was in?

    Low-eeze.

    Since you alone seem not to get the absurdity, I’ll answer it this way:

    Both were in Brooklyn.

    Patterico (756436)

  11. By the way, the covenants probably just had to do with how the houses looked, not the race of the people who lived in the neighborhood.

    How do you figure? From the story you linked:

    While it had once protected its home values by enforcing restrictive covenants on sales, by the mid-1990s the SMRA began promoting the benefits of its racially integrated, activist, middle-class neighborhood.

    Sounds like a race-based restrictive covenant to me.

    Xrlq (ca1ad5)

  12. Yep. This is pretty f’ing stupid. Good catch, comparison, P.

    Tom (eb6b88)

  13. While you are calling for the impeachment of Ginsburg because her town once had racial covenants you might also call for Rehnquist to step down because his HOUSE actually once had one.

    Also on the list would be Senators Feinstein and Biden. Who can forget John F. Kennedy (course not much one can do about that now). http://archive.salon.com/news/feature/1999/07/15/sambos/

    ThreeSheets (7ed4d1)

  14. […] Also, you’ve got to read Patterico’s revelation that Justice Ginsburg grew up in a neighborhood with restrictive covenants. No responses to ‘RE: More Roberts Ridiculousness’. RSS feed for comments and Trackback URI for ‘RE: More Roberts Ridiculousness’. […]

    Confirm Them » RE: More Roberts Ridiculousness (e203ab)

  15. “Both were in Brooklyn.”

    I don’t know brooklyn. Did she live somewhere that had these covenants or not? You tell me she lived in Flatbush, and then tell me part of Flatbush had these covenants. Her part? Or all of it?

    actus (a5f574)

  16. actus:

    First, it makes no difference whether she lived in an area where such covenants existed, since she was a child and not consulted on where to live.

    Second, it doesn’t matter whether her house was in a neighborhood that did or did not have such covenants because Roberts’ childhood home had no such covenant. Which is to say, the article is about the fact that in a neighboring area, such covenants existed.

    Therefore, by this “logic,” the fact that Ginsburg might have lived in an area even neighboring such a covenant-ed area is sufficient to call into question her suitability for the High Court.

    Patterico:

    Were there any reports at the time regarding Ginsburg’s unsuitable childhood home? Or is this derived? In which case, what might one conclude from the somewhat disparate press coverage (i.e., the AP concluding that Roberts’ childhood home is worthy of investigation, but not Ginsburg?)

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  17. Actus,

    The AP story on Roberts just mentions his town, not the specific subdivision he lived in. Ginsburg grew up in Brooklyn, which had covenants.

    Ginsburg is worse, because we know that her specific neighborhood (Flatbush) had these covenants somewhere. We don’t know that about Roberts; we just know the covenants were present in his town somewhere. So you’re helping to make the point that the information on Ginsburg is even more specific than the info on Roberts. Thanks.

    Isn’t it distressing, Actus? Will you join my call for impeachment?

    Patterico (756436)

  18. I parsed it as his whole town had them. Not just parts of it. And then you tell me parts of ginsburg’s town had it. But if its parts and parts then its the same.

    “Isn’t it distressing, Actus? Will you join my call for impeachment? ”

    I’d rather know what he thinks of Shelley v. Kraemer. Having racist parents doesn’t disqualify you from the court. Wasn’t nino’s dad a fascist?

    actus (a5f574)

  19. ABA Rates Roberts As "Well-Qualified"

    Our blogfriend Patterico reports that the AP is trying to cast aspersions on Roberts… It’s spurious horse hockey, guilt by association and all that, but the Left is going to try to knock him down by any means necessary… If the Supreme Court becom…

    DOUBLE TOOTHPICKS (b55965)

  20. I’m done talking to someone who takes this story seriously. Get a grip.

    Patterico (7531bd)

  21. “I’m done talking to someone who takes this story seriously. Get a grip. ”

    I don’t care that Nino’s dad was a fascist.

    actus (a5f574)

  22. I remember listening to Ted Kennedy giving Rehnquist a bad time over the restrictive covenants during his confirmation as Chief Justice, and also the very muted “never mind” when it turned out that Ted owned property with the same types of covenants. I would have thought that the lefties would be embarrased to bring this up again, but I guess everything old is new again.

    But I think the AP story is interesting. Note the passive voice; it tells us that this issue “is receiving intense scrutiny” but it doesn’t tell us who the intense scrutinizers are. Do you think the intrepid AP reporters wandered down to the hall of records to look at the deeds themseles? More likely they were fed some opposition research by the pro-abortion crowd, but don’t feel that the unwashed public needs to know anything about that.

    Roscoe (98b0b1)

  23. I don’t care that Nino’s dad was a fascist.

    Implicitly, then, you do care that John Roberts grew up in a town where other people had placed racially restrictive covenants on other houses a couple of decades earlier.

    You’re the only person I have run into who seems to take this story even halfway seriously. Bizarre.

    Patterico (7531bd)

  24. He’s not the only one who takes it seriously. The Ass. Press does, too; else we wouldn’t be having this discussion at all.

    Xrlq (6c76c4)

  25. “Implicitly, then, you do care that John Roberts grew up in a town where other people had placed racially restrictive covenants on other houses a couple of decades earlier.”

    Its hard to see how I do it “implicitly” when I explicitly equated that fact with the Ginsburg and Roberts families having lived in neighborhoods with former racial covenants. It would seem that not caring for one of them means that “implicitly” I don’t care for the rest.

    actus (a5f574)

  26. Since he knew before he was born that he was going to try to be a Supreme Court Justice, Judge Roberts should have chosen better parents. And to top it all, he now lives in a country that once condoned slavery! In fact, some of the founding Fathers owned slaves, themselves!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Remember, once one of your ancestors made a bad decision, you are tarred for your entire life.

    … Sorry about getting sarcasm on the inside of your monitor screen. Try cleaning it through the vent holes using Windex and a long cotton swab.

    Dave (cee87d)

  27. Its hard to see how I do it “implicitly” when I explicitly equated that fact with the Ginsburg and Roberts families having lived in neighborhoods with former racial covenants.

    I’ve searched through your comments, Actus, and you did no such thing — unless you also equated “the Ginsburg and Roberts families having lived in neighborhoods with former racial covenants” with “[h]aving racist parents”:

    Having racist parents doesn’t disqualify you from the court. Wasn’t nino’s dad a fascist?

    If (as you now seem to imply) you equate 1) having lived in towns with former racial covenants with 2) having “racist parents” then you’re stupider than I thought you were.

    Patterico (756436)

  28. “If (as you now seem to imply) you equate 1) having lived in towns with former racial covenants with 2) having “racist parents” then you’re stupider than I thought you were.”

    Lived as kids no? The latter is certainly worse. So if I don’t care about the latter, why the former?

    actus (a5f574)

  29. You’re the one who implied Roberts’s parents were racist. If not, your claim of having “equated” anything was bullshit. What did you equate with what?

    Patterico (756436)

  30. Indiana Jones found The Ark of the Covenenant and ther were no blacks in the film, ergo Lucas and Spielberg must be bigots.

    Pat Patterson (75f1f6)

  31. Patterico you have the patience of a saint in your debating efforts with actus. I very much appreciate and approve your efforts. I myself, being much less a gentleman than you, would have refered to the Biblical injunction about not throwing pearls before swine.

    john (fb05db)

  32. actus:

    Simple question: Does where a Supreme Court Justice (approved or nominated) lived as a child make any difference whatsoever to that person’s suitability for the High Court?

    If you think it does, please explain why.

    If you think it doesn’t, then please stop debating, b/c you are agreeing with Patterico.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  33. Patterico:

    I second and heartilyi endrose John’s comment from 0252.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  34. Patterico:

    actus is here for one purpose – to amuse himself with elliptical bursts of sophistry that make him feel clever, i.e. self-therapy.

    Have pity on the guy. :)

    Scott (57c0cc)


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