Ted looks earnest, takes off glasses.
Ted: In other news today, the Rev. Martin Luther King, jr., called upon Americans not to judge people by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Blacks across the country cheered, but many whites were skeptical.
All right, I made that part up. Here is what the AP article “Court Denounces Race Bias in Picking Jury,” by Michael Graczyk, actually said:
HOUSTON (AP) – A U.S. Supreme Court decision that warns against bias in death penalty cases is the latest indication that the high court may be losing confidence in Texas, the state that executes more people than any other, legal experts say.
In Monday’s 6-3 decision, the court sided with black murder suspects in Texas and California who said their juries had been unfairly stacked with whites. It was the fourth time in two years that the court has intervened in a Texas death penalty case.
All right; got it: trying to determine how people will think based upon their race = bad. But a scant two paragraphs later:
The Supreme Court used the cases to bolster its landmark 1986 decision barring prosecutors from disqualifying potential jurors based on their race. Justice Clarence Thomas, the only black member of the high court, voted against both suspects.
And just in case you didn’t get the point, here it is again a bit later:
Thomas, one of the most conservative members of the court, has opposed black defendants in the past and has voted against affirmative action.
In other words, it was especially bad that Clarence Thomas voted against black defendants, much worse than Scalia and Rhenquist (who also voted against the Texas defendant), because, you know, Thomas is one of them, if you know what I mean… and I think you do. Heavens, man, he voted against his own kind!
And once again, the left demonstrates that they can win any argument at all… so long as they get to write both sides. Here are all of the argumentative comments about the cases that AP thought it important to print:
“I think that probably one term ago a critical mass of justices on the Supreme Court lost confidence that the state courts in Texas or the federal courts reviewing cases in Texas were doing what they were supposed to be doing to correct constitutional errors,” said David Dow, director of the Texas Innocence Network and a law professor at the University of Houston….
“To have in the space of two terms as many interventions by the Supreme Court in the Texas death penalty, as we’ve seen, it’s unprecedented,” said Dow, who has represented a number of Texas death row inmates in their appeals.
Justice David H. Souter, writing the 6-3 decision, said there was strong evidence of prejudice during jury selection in Miller-El’s case. He noted the pool was “shuffled” at least twice by prosecutors, apparently to increase the chances whites would be selected.
“At least two of the jury shuffles conducted by the state make no sense except as efforts to delay consideration of black jury panelists,” Souter said, adding that it “blinks reality” to deny jurors were struck because they were black….
Diann Rust-Tierney, executive director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, said the Supreme Court “finally had to step in because the Fifth Circuit repeatedly refused to acknowledge a serious problem of unfairness….”
Dow noted the importance of keeping in perspective the high court’s actions on Texas death penalty cases. Despite overturning the several state cases, “over that same period we’ve had 50 executions,” he said.
“The fact is a death penalty lawyer, even from Texas, is still going to lose much more often than he or she is going to win,” Dow said. “But I think in the last two years, especially, there has been a sense among death penalty lawyers you might actually get relief when you get to the Supreme Court.
Notice anything missing? Like, you know, the other side in these cases? Whoops, I forgot to mention… AP did quote one argument against the ruling in this case — that is, against the proposition that the Texas judicial system is packed with Klansmen:
“In view of the evidence actually presented to the Texas courts, their conclusion that the state did not discriminate was eminently reasonable,” Thomas wrote in an opinion joined by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice Antonin Scalia.
Ah. Fairness. Balance.
One final point. The entire thrust of the article is how Texas is sooooooo bad, the Supreme Court really had to let them have it with both barrels: they voted six to a measely three that Texas was discriminating against blacks. But then AP saves this morsel for near the very end:
In the California case, the court ruled 8-1 that courts there had made it too hard for defendants to claim racial bias in jury selection. Justices said courts should reconsider the case of a black man, Jay Shawn Johnson, who was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his white girlfriend’s baby. The jury was all white.
So the verdict in the California case was 8-1 — a considerably slappier slap in the face than the 6-3 decision in the Texas case. And the California state legislature has been dominated by liberal Democrats since before Thera erupted.