Bruce Ackerman fears that the arc of moral justice cited by Martin Luther King, Jr., in one of his most famous quotations, is in retreat.
The Supreme Court is playing a leading role in this act of betrayal. Just as the 19th century court struck down the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which would have banned discrimination in public accommodations and transportation, the Roberts court has struck down key provisions of the modern Voting Rights Act. What is more, it keeps chipping away at other basic principles established during the civil rights era, as in last week’s decision on affirmative action in university admissions. If these dynamics continue, the annual celebration of Martin Luther King Day will turn into a tragic recital of his lost legacy.