Racial Preferences

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 »

How’s that river shaping up for you?

Featured image In his article about the troubles at his alma mater, my Princeton alumnus friend noted the role of William Bowen, Provost from 1967 to 1972 and President from 1972 to 1988. Not content with screwing up Princeton, Bowen co-wrote (with former Harvard President Derek Bok) a defense of race-based preferential college admissions. The book bears the odd title The Shape of the River. In The Shape of the River, Bowen »

Does “mismatch” help explain militant black fragility?

Featured image How should we explain the fact that black student militancy is now manifesting itself in the disruption of campus libraries and demands for postponement of exams? Here’s one plausible explanation: mismatch is to blame. “Mismatch” refers to the fact that, due to aggressive race-based admissions preferences, many African-American college students fall short of the white students with whom they attend school in terms of the credentials most closely associated with »

Yale president apologizes to minority students for failing to make them feel safe

Featured image In the aftermath of the absurd controversy over the potential for offensive Halloween costumes at Yale, president Peter Salovey reportedly has apologized to a large group of minority students for the school’s failure to make them feel safe on campus. “We failed you,” Salovey said (according to the notes of students who were present), adding “I think we have to be a better university; I think we have to do »

Why aren’t there more black scientists?

Featured image It sounds like a trick question. Indeed, it sounds like a variant of the question that sent the sheriffs of political correctness out to take then Harvard president Lawrence Summers into custody. Gail Heriot is Professor of Law at the University of San Diego Law School and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights. In today’s Wall Street Journal, Professor Heriot asks: “Why aren’t there more black »

Racial disparities confound Washington Post

Featured image In separate articles, today’s Washington Post takes up two racial disparities revealed by recent studies. The first pertains to “degree selection.” Danielle Douglas-Gabriel reports: African-American and Hispanic students disproportionately earn more bachelor’s degrees in low-paying majors, putting them at higher risk for financial instability after graduation, according to a new study from Young Invincibles, an advocacy group. . . . The highest paying majors through mid-career were primarily in science, »

In housing case, Justice Kennedy’s eyes are wide shut

Featured image I wrote here about yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project. By a 5-4 vote, with Justice Kennedy writing for the majority, the Court held that the Fair Housing Act allows lawsuits based on disparate impact. Usually in a case like this, it is the dissent that warns of the dire consequences that may well flow from the »