Bakke redux?

Hey guys, excellent coverage of the war. Great reporting on the oral argument in the University of Michigan cases too. I haven’t had a chance to read the transcript yet, but I must say that I was discouraged (though hardly surprised) by Justice O’Connor’s comment to plaintiffs’ counsel that “you’re speaking in absolutes and it isn’t like that.” As Rocket Man has pointed out, when one stops “speaking in absolutes” against racial discrimination, mischief is likely to follow. Perhaps we will see something of a repeat of the Bakke decision, with three or four principled votes against racial preferences, four votes in favor of them, and O’Connor (perhaps along with Justice Kennedy) taking on the mantle of Justice Powell and coming up with some middle ground position that state universities can use to justify race-conscious admissions policies on a large scale for another 25 years.

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