The Washington Post editorializes, quite

The Washington Post editorializes, quite shrewdly, I think, on the Administration’s briefs in the University of Michigan cases. The Post finds liberals’ purported outrage over the Administration’s position “a bit mystifying,” and acknowledges that Bush’s position “may be superficially attractive.” But the Post correctly argues that once the Administration has conceded that “ensuring diversity is an important interest,” its briefs “present an unpersuasive effort to split a hair that just won’t split.” The Post concludes:
“Nobody should be entirely comfortable with government’s treating people differently by race. But achieving diversity in the educational arena is a goal with such broad support that, one way or another, it likely will be pursued by most states and educators. Does the court really want to remove from the table the most direct and honest way to accomplish an outcome that everyone — President Bush included — embraces?”
Sadly, I think the Post is right. If conservatives stand on principle–it is wrong for the government to discriminate among its citizens on the basis of race–we have a winning argument, logically, legally and politically. But if we begin by conceding that it is not just permissible but admirable for governments to try to achieve racial “diversity,” and the only question is how this should best be done, we lose–logically, legally and perhaps even politically. Our best hope now is that the Court may ignore the Administration’s position entirely. Deacon, Trunk–is that evaluation too pessimistic?

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