Constitutional colorblindness

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Constitutional colorblindness is an aspect of United States Supreme Court case evaluation that began with Justice Harlan's dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896. Prior to this (and for a good while afterwards), the Supreme Court considered color as a determining factor in many landmark cases. Constitutional colorblindness holds that skin color or race is virtually never a legitimate ground for legal or political distinctions, and thus, any law that is "color conscious" is presumptively unconstitutional regardless of whether its intent is to subordinate a group, or remedy discrimination. The concept, therefore, has been brought to bear both against vestiges of Jim Crow oppression, as well as remedial efforts aimed at overcoming such discrimination, such as affirmative action.