TPMEditors' Blog Opinions, Context & Ideas from TPM Editors

'I'm Not Racist'

Cliven Bundy tells Alex Jones(!) that the NYT should retract it's story on his pro-slavery remarks, then in a separate interview tries to explain what he meant -- and basically reiterates everything he said initially. Historically, threading the needle of pro-slavery/not racist has been exceedingly difficult.

Truly Unprecedented

The deeply personal back and forth this week between Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor over race is without parallel in the court's history, legal experts tell Sahil Kapur.

Part of the reason for that of course is the unhappy historical fact that racial and ethnic minorities haven't had a seat on the Supreme Court bench until the last 47 years. But part of it, too, may have been the calculation by the likes of Thurgood Marshall that a direct public confrontation would not be productive in the long run.

The highlight of Sahil's piece may be the anecdote offered by a former Marshall clerk in which Marshall pulled his punch toward the other justices in his dissent in a 1973 case.

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'Emotion'

Conservatives are not pleased with Justice Sonia Sotomayor's dissent in yesterday's affirmative action case, even if they reaffirmed the right to ban it. Instead, Sahil Kapur reports they're complaining that she's "legally illiterate" and writing about "emotion." If those aren't codes for her race and gender, I don't know if I know what is.