Racial Preferences

A deep secret revisited

Featured image TaxProf Paul Caron excerpts the Wall Street Journal Law Blog’s post on Professor Richard Sander’s attempts to get the California state bar to cough up bar passage data by race. For some reason the powers that be have escaped scrutiny over the racial disparities that dog bar passage rates. Professor Sander’s long legal fight for the data is headed for trial. The authorities guard the relevant data more carefully than »

Civil Rights Commissioner warned Minneapolis against quota discipline [UPDATED WITH LINK]

Featured image Last week, Scott and I wrote about an article by Katherine Kersten regarding the ruinous impact on schools in the Twin Cities of racial “equity” in school discipline. As Kersten demonstrated, the attempt to reduce the number of disciplinary actions against minority school children, on the theory that they are disproportionately disciplined, has helped turn some schools in the Twin Cities into war zones. Peter Kirsanow, a member of the »

Refuting Kersten, Onion style

Featured image My friend Kathy Kersten wrote the devastating column featured in the Star Tribune this past Sunday on disorder in the St. Paul public schools following from the directives of the Obama administration. Kathy’s column was published as “The school safety debate: Mollycoddle no more.” I drew attention to Kathy’s column in “Kersten’s discipline.” Paul reviewed the column at length in “The war on standards in Twin Cities schools.” Yesterday the »

The war on standards: gifted student programs edition [UPDATED]

Featured image The Washington Post reports that the Montgomery County school district (which covers an affluent suburban county just outside of Washington, D.C.) is concerned about racial disparities in its “gifted student” programs. A report it commissioned found marked disparities by race and ethnicity in enrollment and acceptance rates, with white and Asian students faring much better than their black and Hispanic counterparts. The report notes, for example, that enrollment in the »

The war on standards in Twin Cities schools

Featured image I hope you read Katherine Kersten’s article, presented yesterday by Scott, about the impact of “equity” in disciplinary action on schools in the Twin Cities. As Kersten explains, “equity” in this context isn’t about fairness — that is, the same rules for everyone. Rather, it means that “if one group’s outcomes on social measures are not identical to all of the others’, the cause is presumed to be discrimination and »

Harvard Takes A Bold Stand Against Slavery

Featured image Harvard Law School has been roiled this academic year by allegations of racism–allegations that the school’s Dean, Martha Minow, has stipulated to be true, saying that racism is a “serious problem” at the law school. She doesn’t mean it, of course. Otherwise, someone might ask why she has failed to do something about the problem since becoming dean in 2009. Protesters at the law school have focused on the school’s »

Trump piles on Scalia; supports racial preferences

Featured image I had missed this story, but catching up with NR’s Bench Memos today I learned from Carrie Severino that Donald Trump joined in the criticism of Justice Scalia’s pertinent questioning during oral argument in the Fisher case. Readers probably recall that Scalia raised the problem of the “mismatch” that arises when blacks students receive preferential admission to college and must then compete with students who have significantly better credentials. Scalia »

Ominibus bill rewards Department of Education overreach

Featured image On Friday, the House will vote on the year-end omnibus spending bill, formally known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016. As Heritage Action says, the bill should have been an opportunity for conservatives to reassert their prerogatives on a host of important issues, ranging from appropriate spending levels to substantive action on refugee resettlement, executive amnesty, Planned Parenthood, and many more. Instead, the omnibus spending bill falls far short »

The spreading virus: Oberlin edition: UPDATE (Is this for real?)

Featured image A reader draws our attention to the 14-page set of demands served by Oberlin College’s Black Student Union (ABASUA) on the college’s trustees, officers, “and all other appropriate Governing Bodies.” Absurd as they are, the demands are backed by a threat sounding like a threat of force and prefaced with this statement: Oberlin College and Conservatory is an unethical institution. From capitalizing on massive labor exploitation across campus, to the »

The chasm between law and anarchy

Featured image Ruth Marcus asks: “Will the Supreme Court add to campus turmoil?” That’s the title of her op-ed and also her concluding thought, which she addresses specifically to Justice Kennedy. Consider this the latest example of liberal journalists trying to shame this or that justice into toeing the liberal line. Marcus claims not to be “a fan of the current wave of college protests.” Yet, she isn’t above using the protests »

Diversity: Seven notes

Featured image Scott’s six notes on “mismatch” add a much needed clarity to the discussion of race-based preferential admissions to college. I want to add seven notes on the concept of diversity, which Scott discussed. Note 1: The ideology of diversity is, as Scott says, relatively new. The concept of diversity, however, has been around for quite a while. Decades ago, it was common for elite eastern colleges to strive for geographic »

“Mismatch”: Six notes

Featured image I want to add six notes to Paul Mirengoff’s posts on Justice Scalia’s reference to the phenomenon of “mismatch” created by “affirmative action” in higher education. Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr., document the phenomenon in Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It. The mainstream media demonstrate studied ignorance of the phenomenon and the book. Paul explains the operative taboo. The »

“Mismatch” — a taboo subject for the MSM

Featured image When Justice Scalia raised the issue of “mismatch” during oral argument in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the mainstream media acted as if a stink bomb had exploded in the courtroom. Can it really be that serious reporters on legal affairs were unfamiliar with this carefully researched phenomenon? Maybe so. Gerard Alexander, who teaches politics at the University of Virginia, offers a plausible explanation for the MSM’s apparent »

Preferences for the poor?

Featured image For almost a quarter of a century, Richard Kahlenberg of the Century Foundation has been arguing that race-based college admissions policies should be replaced by preferential admissions for students from low income families. In fact, the first article I ever published (other than in a legal journal) was a 1996 op-ed in the Washington Post criticizing Kahlenberg’s proposal. The oral argument in Fisher v. University of Texas provided Kahlenberg another »

Scalia and the MSM — a mismatch [UPDATED]

Featured image Yesterday, during the oral argument in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, Justice Scalia raised the issue of “mismatch.” This is the phenomenon, identified by scholars Richard Sander (along with legal affairs writer Stuart Taylor) and Gail Heriot, whereby students admitted to top colleges with lower credentials than their classmates tend to struggle academically to their detriment. As Sander says: There are now dozens of careful, peer-reviewed studies that »

Fisher in Wonderland

Featured image Today’s oral argument before the Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin had an Alice in Wonderland quality to it. But I suppose that became inevitable when the Court granted universities permission to discriminate in admissions on the basis of race in the name of “diversity.” Much of the time of Fisher’s lawyer, who is challenging the way the University used of racial preferences to exclude his »

A return to the future for racial preferences at the Supreme Court

Featured image This week marks the half way point of the 25 year period after which Justice O’Connor famously said, “We [the Supreme Court] expect that. . .the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary.” As if to commemorate the occasion, the Supreme Court tomorrow will hear argument in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin in which the use of race in the University’s undergraduate admissions program is under »