My thoughts, for what they are worth, on the government’s briefs in the University of Michigan cases, which were filed last night; see the Trunk’s link below: Some conservatives will be disappointed that they contain tributes to the virtue of diversity and do not take a position on whether diversity can ever be a “compelling state interest” that justifies race discrimination. Instead, the government argues that under any standard, the Michigan programs are unconstitutional quota systems.
I haven’t yet had time to read the briefs, and both Deacon and the Trunk have more technical expertise in this area than I do. But I think the important thing here is to win these cases. Conservatives worry that if the Supreme Court’s language is less than sweeping, and any “diversity” loophole is allowed, university administrators will circumvent the ruling and continue to discriminate. That is true, of course. But this will happen regardless of how broad the Court’s ruling purports to be. Just as Southern governors and school boards refused to obey Brown v. Board of Education for a number of years, universities will now persist in race discrimination (for the same reason–they think it is good public policy) regardless of what the Supreme Court says. It will take more than a single case to bring race discrimination to an end. But these cases can be a cornerstone in an effort that will, no doubt, take a number of cases and a number of years, to bring us closer to the goal of equal justice under law.
We are hoping to get inside information on the reaction of the plaintiffs’ legal team to the government’s briefs. If we do, we’ll post it.
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