The Great Decolorizer

As a student radical in the late sixties, Ed Blum fought for affirmative action. Now, as a middle- aged neocon, he wants to destroy it.

Boney saw little difference between the contortions of the proposed District E and those of the congressional districts redrawn by three Republican-appointed judges. During a question-and-answer period, he tried to maneuver Blum into admitting as much.

"I think the three-judge panel could have done better in reuniting neighborhoods," allowed Blum, "but clearly what they did was 180 degrees improvement to what we had."

Boney persisted: "You feel it is constitutional?"
"Councilman," said Blum, "the Supreme Court has accepted it. So whether I accept it or reject it is rather moot."

"Understand too that in 1896 the Supreme Court sanctioned segregation and American apartheid," Boney replied. "Sometimes, as Martin Luther King said, we have to be guided by a higher law."

Boney had the last word, at least in that hearing, but the larger victory may yet be Blum's. His case against the city is still proceeding, and for the moment, the lower laws of the land -- or at least the federal judiciary -- seem firmly on his side.

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