Obama’s quota king

The Obama administration continues to populate top positions at the Justice Department with left-wing lawyers. In the latest instance, it has nominated Tom Perez to head the Civil Rights Division.

Perez was selected after President Obama’s original choice, Thomas Saenz, ran into fierce opposition due to his efforts on behalf of illegal aliens. However, as Linda Chavez shows, Perez is also a radical choice, given his advocacy for racial preferences in medical school admissions.

In an article in the University of Maryland’s Journal of Health Care Law and Policy, Perez argued for discrimination in favor of African-American candidates for med school admission on the theory that African-American med school graduates are significantly more likely than their white counterparts to provide care to poor, minority populations. However, Chavez points to evidence that affirmative action admittees are also significantly more likely to do poorly in medical school and significantly less likely to obtain important board certifications. To further lower admission standards for minority applicants, as Perez advocated, would produce even more underqualified doctors and reduce the number of well-qualified ones.

The result, Chavez argues, would be a form of medical apartheid in which minority patients increasingly would be served by minority doctors who lack solid credentials. This “would exacerbate the problem of poor health services for minority patients, not improve it.” In addition, of course, Perez’s regime would mean an increase in the number of candidates denied admission to medical school because of their race. The Civil Rights Division should oppose racial discrimination, not urge more of it.

At the time Perez wrote his article, the U.S. Supreme Court had already approved race-based preferences in undergraduate and law school admissions, provided that schools are sufficiently cagey in how they go about discriminating. However, Perez was pushing for a different, and potentially more expansive rationale for reverse discrimination than the one approved, to its disgrace, by the Supreme Court — a rationale based not on diversifying the student body, but on servicing particular populations. In addition, as Roger Clegg notes, Perez was eager to “examine whether a similar case could be made in other professions.”

Obama’s quota king nominee should be opposed. And Republicans should raise the racial quota issue against those who vote to confirm Perez.