Terry Pell on the oral argument

Terry Pell is the president of the Center for Individual Rights, the organization that brought the two cases against the University of Michigan heard by the Supreme Court this morning. At our request Terry has provided us his take on the oral argument as follows, exclusive to Power Line:
“Today the Supreme Court heard first hand Michigan’s extraordinary claim that colleges and universities enjoy an exception to the 14th Amendment to use racially separate, two track admissions systems. The Justices directed some of their toughest questions to Michigan’s lawyers. We were heartened by the extent to which they grasped the problems inherent in Michigan’s two track approach to race. For example, several Justices were deeply skeptical of Michigan’s claim that while it seeks a ‘critical mass’ of minority students, it does not employ a quota.
“And more than one Justice was troubled by the apparent timelessness of the Michigan preferences, wondering why diversity would ever cease to justify the use of quotas. Justice Scalia pointed out several times that UM’s problem was of its own making. If diversity was so compelling, Scalia asked, then why didn’t the University simply relax the weight it places on selective admissions criteria, like standardized test scores?
“We are confident that a majority of the Court will recognize the need to strike down Michigan’s two track admissions systems. That will be very good for our clients, but even better for America.”


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