Great news today

The Affordable Care Act upheld, 6-3.

AND… even better: Texas Dept. of Housing vs. Inclusive Communities. Upheld 5-4 with Kennedy joining the four Democratic-appointed justices.

Both cases were worrisome. But the ACA’s case was a bit less so. King vs. Burwell was founded on so ridiculous a premise, such a feat of mental gymnastics, that on some level I thought it couldn’t possibly prevail. But seeing how the ridiculous and fantastical so often have prevailed recently, if only because certain very ideological and determined people wanted ridiculous stuff to prevail.. *Walker cough cough*
Let’s just say, I was surprised when reality did win the day over craziness. But only a little surprised. John Roberts is pro-corporate… he’s not a loon.

But the Inclusive case really did worry me, because its defeat would NOT have been ridiculous or unexpected. Not only because our society is so “what’s in it for me?” Not only because we feel freer to indulge our worst instincts to love Teh Epistemic Closure and hunker down with people just like us.
But because we generally suck at considering impact over intent. Because it’s psychologically painful. It forces us to rethink, at times, our entire purpose and reason for doing things. It sometimes even seems to ask us to consider ourselves… gasp… bad people. And nobody, but nobody, likes to think of themselves as a bad person.

(One good way to avoid feeling like absolute crap when considering impact is to frame it as bad actions, not bad people; like Jay Smooth does here. But I digress.)

Supreme Court Justices are no more likely to wish to feel like bad people than the average person. It’s just so much easier to not think about things like “disparate impact” and just focus on intent. It just feels too much like reading too much into things to think about racist effects hidden within ostensible neutral actions.

But luckily, we don’t have to have that discussion. The Fair Housing Act still stands.

How about a little celebration, then?

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