Just a few days before the nation’s 188th birthday, Congress passed the landmark entitlement legislation known as the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Today, our thoughts turn more to culture and equality among different political viewpoints than they do to skin color. They turn more to differences in sexual preferences than to differences in religion or national origin, as we seek equality for all, and especially, the equality of opportunity for our students.
On this day, the anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we reflect upon and celebrate the progress we have made in working to ensure equal opportunity for all students. We also honor the individuals who risked their lives in pursuit of justice and equity.
— US Dept of Education (@usedgov) July 2, 2018
We are also faced today with the very real possibility that President Donald Trump will use his constitutional authority to appoint a staunch conservative to the Supreme Court to replace Anthony Kennedy, who was appointed by a Republican president but was seen by many Court observers as a more moderate conservative.
But regardless of Mr Trump’s appointment, a Supreme Court cannot undo the work of Congress, and the Civil Rights legislation passed in the 1960s has been among the most tested laws in our history.
“The Supreme Court cannot save a degraded culture, nor can it degrade a virtuous one—not too much in either direction, at least,” wrote law professors Marc DeGirolami and Kevin Walsh in the New York Times.
And that is where we leave this anniversary: knowing that this great nation will preserve the rights we all have to the equality of opportunity that was first conceived in the Declaration of Independence, which we will celebrate on Wednesday, and crystallized in the Constitution.