Cover: The Color-Blind Constitution, from Harvard University PressCover: The Color-Blind Constitution in PAPERBACK

The Color-Blind Constitution

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$40.00 • £34.95 • €36.95

ISBN 9780674142930

Publication Date: 08/19/1998


314 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


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An important contribution to scholarship and to public discussion of the direction of this nation’s legal policies regarding race.—Walter Volkomer, Political Science Quarterly

Kull has written a brilliant and challenging history of an idea: the theory that the Constitution prohibits the law from ever taking account of race. With exquisite insight, Kull traces this idea from its earliest expression in abolitionist constitutional thought to its displacement today by the competing idea of compensatory racial justice.—Kenneth Jost, ABA Journal

[Kull] tells a story…through excellent legal analysis and commentary on legislation, legal arguments, briefs and judicial opinions dating back to the dawn of the Republic in the eighteenth century.—Johnny J. Butler, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Andrew Kull is a scholar, not an advocate. His lawyerly book is thus not a legal brief but a meticulously crafted history of an unfinished argument. What happened to the color-blind ideal? Kull asks. We now have a beautifully constructed answer. No other work explores so brilliantly the series of constitutional cases in which the courts assumed the power to weigh the costs and benefits of race-based policies—from Jim Crow laws to school busing and beyond. [This]…is an indispensable work.—Abigail Thernstrom, author of Whose Votes Count? Affirmative Action and Minority Voting Rights

Andrew Kull has provided the most compelling book yet written on the enduring colorblind principle. The basic claim is powerful and direct; the Constitution of the United States forbids racial discrimination at any level of government against any citizen, period. The colorblind principle is one of universal appeal. For every citizen who recoils from government’s endless uses of race to divide, allocate, and dictate their rights or the rights of others by race, this book will provide powerful support for their views. I hope it will be widely read.—William Van Alstyne, Duke University

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