John Cornyn's Brown v. Board of Education Tweet Causes Uproar

Senator says he was not suggesting that ruling be overturned
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2022 1:40 AM CDT
John Cornyn's Brown v. Board of Education Tweet Causes Uproar
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, attends a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on domestic terrorism, Tuesday, June 7, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Following the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, Barack Obama tweeted that the high court had attacked "the essential freedoms of millions of Americans" by "revers[ing] nearly 50 years of precedent." Republican Sen. John Cornyn's response to that tweet: "Now do Plessy vs Ferguson/Brown vs Board of Education." If you're not clear on what exactly the Texas senator is suggesting, you're not alone; the tweet went viral, WFAA reports, with many commenters assuming Cornyn was implying Brown, which declared "separate but equal" segregation in schools unconstitutional, should now be overturned. Not so, Cornyn clarified in a later tweet reading, "Thank goodness some SCOTUS precedents are overruled." (Brown partially overruled the Plessy decision from more than 50 years prior.)

Cornyn also retweeted supporters who explained that the senator was pointing out "bad opinions like Plessy should be overturned" and that "overturning longstanding precedent is often necessary and positive." Cornyn himself also tweeted simply "#dullknife" in response to one commenter who speculated the senator wants schools segregated again. But even after Cornyn's explanation, some remained less than convinced, speculating the GOP really does aim to eventually overturn Brown. Others simply criticized Cornyn's comparison: "I actually believe this is what you meant, but please understand: this is still really bad," wrote popular YouTuber Beau of The Fifth Column. "A reversal leading to more freedom is good. A reversal leading to less freedom is bad." (More John Cornyn stories.)

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