Racial Preferences

Annals of the war on standards

Featured image I have written from time to time about the “war on standards” being waged by the modern civil rights movement — an attempt to bulldoze standards of conduct and achievement that stand in the way of equal distribution of society’s benefits and prizes to Blacks. Examples of such standards include, but are not limited to, (1) certain employment criteria — e.g., tests and criminal background checks — (2) some criminal »

Is Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream Unconstitutional?

Featured image Disregarding race is the new “racism”: that is the position of the modern Left. Which raises the question: is it unconstitutional for American governments to treat members of all races equally? If you think that is an absurd question, you haven’t been paying attention. Via InstaPundit, this observation from Nick Rosenkranz at the Volokh Conspiracy: Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke these immortal words: “I have a »

President Obama and the war on school discipline

Featured image Last night, I wrote about the civil rights movement’s epically misguided war against school disciplinary standards. Not surprisingly, as Mike McDaniel (a high school teacher) has shown, the Obama administration stands shoulder-to-shoulder with its base in this battle. Eric Holder expressed his commitment to the cause in 2012, when he said: We’ve often seen that students of color, students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and students with special needs are disproportionately likely »

The civil rights movement sets a new standard in perversity

Featured image Nothing illustrates the bankruptcy of the modern civil rights movement more starkly than its war against school disciplinary standards. Because black students are suspended from school at rates several times higher than their white counterparts, school jurisdictions are under pressure to relax disciplinary standards. A number have done so. The Maryland State Board of Education is set to follow this trend. The war on disciplinary standards is part of a »

Will there be future challenges to race-based admissions policies?

Featured image In response to this week’s Supreme Court’s decision that raised the legal standards race-based preferential admissions policy must meet in order to survive judicial scrutiny, I suggested, facetiously, that I might come out of retirement to litigate such cases. But this assumes that rejected white applicants will bring suits against universities they believe have discriminated against them. Stuart Taylor does not believe they will. Neither does David Bernstein. After all, »

Affirmative action forever

Featured image A few months ago I anticipated the somewhat disappointing result produced by the Supreme Court in the Fisher case addressing the issue of “affirmative action.” I thought pessimism was warranted and that the pessimistic view has been vindicated, although that isn’t entirely clear. In his column this morning George Will capably elaborates on the damage the Court has preserved. I’m taking the liberty of reiterating my own observations on the »

Fisher v. University Texas and the matter of deference

Featured image Today’s Supreme Court’s decision in Fisher v. University of Texas is based on a distinction between the type of deference that courts can grant to universities that use racial preferences in admission. Fisher does not upset past rulings that courts must defer to “a university’s judgment that [a diverse student body] is essential to its educational mission.” Thus, Court’s will continue to defer “to the decision to pursue the educational »

More on Today’s Supreme Court Decision, Fisher v. U. of Texas

Featured image Our friend Kirk Kolbo represented the plaintiffs in the landmark Gratz and Grutter cases that challenged race discrimination at the University of Michigan. Gratz and Grutter provided the framework for the Supreme Court’s decision today in Fisher v. University of Texas, in which a white applicant who was denied admission argued that she had been the victim of illegal race discrimination because of the university’s racial preference policies. So I »

Race-based college admissions dodge another bullet

Featured image As everyone expected, the Supreme Court has rejected a court of appeals decision upholding the racial preference regime used by the University of Texas in college admissions. In Fisher v. University of Texas, the Court held that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals applied the incorrect standard. Thus, it sent the case back for further review under the appropriate standard. Under the appropriate standard, the Supreme Court said, a university »

Affirmative action forever

Featured image In an excellent Wall Street Journal column James Taranto holds out hope that the Supreme Court is on the verge of ending the regime of racial discrimination that it has licensed in higher education. I hope Taranto is right, but I think pessimism is warranted. I’m taking the liberty of reiterating my own observations on the subject below. The principle of equal treatment without regard to race is one that »

Dartmouth contemplates hitting a new low

Featured image Charlotte Johnson, Dartmouth’s Dean of the College, says that Dartmouth is considering a distributive requirement or some sort of mandatory course focused on diversity and inclusion. Clearly, Johnson has in mind a course that touts the value of diversity and inclusion. But wait. Dartmouth grants racial preferences to ensure that its undergraduate population is “diverse” and “inclusive.” And by all accounts, including my daughter’s, Dartmouth succeeds in creating a racially »

Getting their minds right at the USDA

Featured image Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, Judicial Watch has compelled the powers-that-be to cough up the video of one self-described citizen of the world (Thomas Betances) conducting government-approved, government-sponsored, government funded racial harassment (i.e., “cultural sensitivity training”) at the United States Department of Agriculture. It took the USDA eight months to cough it up, but it was worth waiting for. Judicial Watch plucks out quotable quotes with film clips »

Affirmative action forever

Featured image The principle of equal treatment without regard to race is one that is close to my heart. Accordingly, one of my favorite books on a legal subject is Andrew Kull’s The Color-Blind Constitution. (I learned of the book at the time of its publication through Judge Alex Kosinski’s 1993 New Republic review/essay.) It is a book that is by turns inspiring and maddening. I recommend it without reservation to readers »

“Diversity within diversity” — a path too far

Featured image I wrote here about the oral argument in the Fisher case, a challenge to the University of Texas’s use of race to admit Black and Hispanic undergraduate applicants who otherwise would be rejected under its standard admissions criteria. In this post, I want to explore one important aspect of that case. The University of Texas ensures the admission of a reasonably large numbers of minorities by guaranteeing entrance to anyone »

Race-based college admissions look down the barrel of the gun again

Featured image Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument Fisher v. University of Texas. The case involves a challenge to the university’s use of race to admit Black and Hispanic undergraduate applicants who otherwise would be rejected under its standard admissions criteria. Given the liberality of the University of Texas’s standard criteria, it is absurd that the university indulges in such racial preferences. The university already ensures the admission of large numbers »

A new low in apologies for racial discrimination, Part Two

Featured image Yesterday, I commented about an op-ed in which Martha Minow (dean of Harvard Law School) and Robert Post (dean of Yale Law School) defend their institutions’ consideration of race in law school admissions decisions as a means of assessing the character of applicants. I argued that such an assessment smacks of racism, relies on the unverified stories of applicants about how race has affected their lives, and has nothing much »

A new low in apologies for racial discrimination

Featured image With the Supreme Court set to hear argument this week on the use of racial preferences in student admissions by state universities, the deans of Harvard and Yale law schools ( Martha Minow and Robert Post) defend this practice in a Washington Post op-ed. Part of the defense consists, as usual, of touting the supposed virtues of a “diverse” student body. We have written about this tired, disingenuous argument in »