False Color at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court thinks it's racist to build housing in poor neighborhoods.

The most recent Supreme Court term has been so loaded with historically awful decisions that it's hard to keep up.  It's like having gangrene: you may not even notice if you also have cancer, and won't care much if you do.

Nevertheless, we will endeavor to manfully process the wretched refuse one piece at a time.  Today, let's talk about Texas Department of Housing v. Inclusive Communities Project.

Mi Casa, Su Casa

Of course, this case had no Constitutional basis at all, predicated as it is on government doing something it has no business doing.  Search the Constitution from stem to stern, and you will find nothing granting government the authority, much less the responsibility, to provide housing for anybody or to regulate anyone else who wants to.

Those powers are reserved to the states or to the people.  So it's merely unwise and inefficient, not unconstitutional, for the State of Texas to choose to spend extracted tax dollars on subsidized housing projects.  Which, like every other state, it does.

However, the Texans at least attempted to apply some common sense: they directed the funds to poor neighborhoods.  Duh!  How many people in the ritzy part of town need or deserve a taxpayer subsidy for their pad?

If government must help individual citizens with handouts, logically they ought to be reserved for those who really need them.  So with perfect fairness and rationality, Texas directed its housing money at those locales where lived people who needed them most.

The Color of Money

Alas, they fell foul of modern leftist shibboleths and our overgrown Federal government.  It so happens that black people are, on average, a whole lot poorer than whites.  It follows therefore that poor neighborhoods, on average, have more than their fair share of black people living in them.

Thus, Texas' housing subsidies went disproportionately to black neighborhoods.  Shouldn't that be a good thing?

Not according to the Left, and now, the Supreme Court!  No, if Texas built more housing for poor people in areas that poor people already lived, that would mean that poor people would stay there.

Which, of course, is racist.  No, what justice demands is that poor people have an equal opportunity to live in rich neighborhoods, so that's where the subsidies ought to go!

The Supreme Court agreed in a 5-4 decision that the Texas housing department had violated the Fair Housing Act, and engaged in racial discrimination, by putting too much subsidized housing in predominantly black urban neighborhoods, and too little in white suburban neighborhoods. The disparate impact was that this discouraged black people from moving to white areas, and perpetuated segregation.

Friends Like Me

It does not seem to have crossed the minds of the august Justices that maybe, just maybe, poor people like to live near their friends and family.  In fact, just down from where the Court meets in Washington, DC, poor blacks are complaining that rich white people are moving into their neighborhoods and pricing them out.  Not only do they want to stay where they are, they don't want anyone better off coming in and shaking things up by their own preferences!

That doesn't matter one whit to the Court, which knows better than those ignorant peasants who subsist off public largess.  Who're the real racists here?

Alas, it looks like we'll all be paying the price, rich and poor alike: poor by being more or less forced away from home, and rich, well, by having poor people forcibly dumped next door.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Law.
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