That was an extraordinary five hours at the Supreme Court yesterday—twice as long as the oral arguments were originally scheduled to last—and the longer the argument went on, the worse it seemed to get for the defenders of raced-based admissions for higher education. Maybe that was by design on the part of Chief Justice Roberts, who was sarcastic in his open scorn for what he has previously called the “sordid business” of sorting by race?
This is only one of the many aspects of the scene that Lucretia, John Yoo and I break down in this special mid-week (and sadly whisky-less!) edition of the Three Whisky Happy Hour. Treating the oral arguments the way a drama critic might approach a five act stage play, we look at how the arguments from the various Justices landed, and why Chief Justice Roberts’s smackdown on the “oboe players” analogy Harvard’s lawyer offered revealed how incoherent or contradictory was the case for keeping race-based admissions forever.
It is always a mistake to make predictions of the outcome of a case from the oral arguments alone—I suggest waiting until the draft opinion is leaked sometime next spring before making predictions!—but we all note that it is hard to resist concluding that the Court’s deference to race-consciousness has reached an endgame.
We end on the happy note that John’s beloved hometown (Philadelphia) sports teams are having a moment right now, so we have two special exit tunes to reflect on both his love for McRibb and the Eagles + Phillies.
Meanwhile, we’ll be back for our regular episode this weekend with a final look at and predictions for next week’s midterm elections.
You know what to do now: listen here, or move for a hearing with our judicious hosts at Ricochet.