U.S. Justice has been blind.

   Many Americans have been ignorant to how jurisprudence has tipped the scales of justice against people of color and the poor.

   So argued three panelists during a discussion on “Racial Disparities in the U.S. Judicial System” last week Thursday in Ripon College’s East Hall.

   Sponsored by the college’s Center for Politics and the People, the event was moderated by Steve Sorenson, adjunct professor of politics and government, and pre-law advisor, at Ripon College.

   Ripon High School teacher and diversity activist Kat Griffith opened the discussion by pointing out that racism has permeated law for hundreds of years.

   She cited the Doctrine of Discovery, espoused by popes in the 1400s, which gave settlers permission to remove people from their land, and to enslave and kill them.

   “That doctrine is still the basis of law today,” Griffith said, pointing to a 2005 Supreme Court decision authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that used the doctrine in a finding against the Oneida nation.

   For the past six centuries, she said, the doctrine has enshrined in law the notion that native American people are inferior to white people.

   Read the full story, including the panelists' opinions, in the May 2, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.