Apart from the expected praise of Wong Kim Ark, the equal distribution of legal accountability, and the grim outlook on the dominance of Whiteness, Lopez’s novel questioning of the court’s inconsistency throughout the prerequisite cases and its role in the construction of race are refreshing ideas that individuals should consider as society strides toward equality.
The era of blaming the legislature and judiciary has evolved since early twentieth-century. As race relations improve, the responsibility of perpetuating the dominance of Whiteness belongs to Whites who can choose to dismantle the legal construction. Perceptively, Lopez expects colorblindness—Whites’ attempt to redefine their race by incorporating select minorities and burying the Whites’ historical conception of race, thereby legitimizing a social construction of race and perpetuating the dominance of Whiteness. Colorblindness evokes an unenthusiastic response from Lopez; however, as the best current alternative, colorblindness is a few steps closer to racial equality than outright exclusion or discrimination.
Although Lopez specifies congressional intent as a judicial rationale, he cites this rationale accounted for only fourteen of the fifty-two prerequisite cases (Haney 163-67). Instead of equally assigning fault to the legislature and judiciary, Lopez gives the unwarranted impression of blaming the judges solely for the outcome of cases: “the judges proved to be loyal defenders of Whiteness, defining this identity in ways that preserved its contours even at the cost of arbitrarily excluding fully qualified persons from citizenship” (Haney 23). The responsibility of legal coercion and legal ideology also belongs to both the legislature and judiciary, for the legislature formed and judiciary construed laws that restricted citizens’ marital choices, reified race, and defined the meanings behind various racial identities (Haney 82; 92).