Ranall Kennedy, a professor at Harvard Law School specializing in racial conflict and law says,
"But does the argument have any merit? Not remotely said Randall Kennedy, .I agree. He rightly says that laws that affect different races disproportionally happen all the time.
"There is no constitutional problem at all, because a plaintiff would have to show that the government intended to disadvantage a particular group, not simply that the group is disadvantaged in effect," he said.
Regardless of what I think about a "tan tax", I agree with that concept.
From the article in the Washington Post,
"Kennedy said that this is why courts have upheld a raft of other laws that also happen to have a disproportionate impact on particular groups. For example, laws that impose higher penalties for possession or trafficking of crack cocaine as opposed to powder cocaine resulted in far harsher sentences for African Americans compared to whites. And laws that offer preferential treatment for veterans are much more likely to benefit men than women. But in both cases judges ruled that, because lawmakers did not intend to disadvantage black people or women when drafting those laws, they are legal.The only problem that I have with Kennedy's argument is that we do indeed have laws that explicitly benefit one race over another. Affirmative action is a glaring contradiction to his argument. Another example that immediately comes to mind is Eric Holder's recently revealed perception that the Voter Rights law only is only there to protect minorities - particularly blacks.
Reverse racism is sadly becoming a bigger and bigger issue in our country right now. The tan tax, though, isn't that. It could be justified the same way a sin tax, such as that on cigarettes could be: an unnecessary indulgence that has negative affects on your health. Being attached to the health care bill actually makes sense to me. For good or naught, it is not a ban on the activity, but a tax to affect behavior - a long standing principal used in taxes for eons.