She Can’t Do Arithmetic, Either

In the post just below, Steve notes that the liberal media are trying to make some kind of hero out of new Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Good luck with that: based on what we have seen so far, I would assess her as incompetent.

Her dissent in the UNC race discrimination case was awful. It was one long political screed, devoid of legal argument and oblivious to the standards (the 14th Amendment and Title VI) that she was supposed to be applying. Also, she can’t deal honestly or competently with data.

At Liberty Unyielding, Hans Bader disassembles Jackson’s dissent:

[A]ccording to the dissent by three progressive justices, using race in college admissions is the “only” way “possible” to somehow get rid of gaps between minorities and whites in “health, wealth, and well-being,” and blacks must be given a racial preference in college admissions until those gaps disappear. That claim ignores the fact that blacks were gradually closing the gap with whites before any affirmative action for blacks existed, indeed, at a faster rate than today.

Follow the link for the data on that point.

In their dissent, the three progressive justices made false claims about health disparities between blacks and whites, inaccurately claiming that black babies are much less likely to survive with a white physician (a claim debunked in the National Review, Daily Signal, and other sources), and falsely implying that racial minorities in general have shorter life spans than whites (in fact, Hispanics and Asians typically live longer than whites).

The life expectancy argument is bizarre. Obviously, average life expectancy by ethnic group has no bearing on the 14th Amendment’s requirement of equal protection of the laws or Title VI’s prohibition on race discrimination. But Jackson can’t even get her facts straight. Asians have the longest life expectancies, on average, in the U.S. Does she seriously contend that this means they should be discriminated against in college admissions? Apparently so. And if someone points out that Hispanics on average live longer than whites, I suppose she will have to change her mind and demand that colleges discriminate against Hispanics instead of in favor of them.

Jackson’s inability to deal with infant mortality statistics is also brutal. See original for links:

In their dissent advocating race-based affirmative action, the Supreme Court’s three progressive justices cited an obviously false statistic about the death rates of black babies. They gullibly cited the statistic, even though it was mathematically almost impossible, and had been debunked months before by people like Ted Frank, a member of the Supreme Court bar.

As the Daily Signal explains:

In her dissenting opinion to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down racial preferences in university admissions, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson managed to pull off a trifecta: She was factually incorrect in describing the results of a study that should not be believed, which wouldn’t provide practical support for her argument even if it were accurate and credible.
Specifically, she wrote, “For high-risk black newborns, having a black physician more than doubles the likelihood that the baby will live, and not die.” That claim was taken from an amicus brief filed by the Association of American Medical Colleges, which in turn was referencing a study that appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

First, the study does not claim to find a doubling in survival rates for black newborns who have a black attending doctor. Instead, in its most fully specified model, it reports that 99.6839% of black babies born with a black attending physician survived compared with 99.5549% of black babies born with white attending physicians, a difference of 0.129%.

The survival rate of 99.6839% is not double 99.5549%.

It gets worse from there.

Black newborns are almost three times as likely as white newborns to weigh less than 1,500 grams.

Doctors assigned to treat very low-weight babies are more likely to be specialists, rather than regular pediatricians or family practitioners. Black doctors are significantly less likely to be found in those specialized fields.

More than 5% of pediatricians or family practice physicians are black, compared with 3.8% of neonatologists and pediatric cardiologists, and 1.8% of pediatric surgeons.

Rather than demonstrating the protective benefits of black newborns having black doctors, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study only documents that black newborns are more likely to have severe issues that increase their risk of infant mortality, and those severe cases are more likely to have white attending physicians because white doctors are more prevalent in the specialized fields that treat those complications.

Not only has Justice Brown-Jackson not shown the ability needed to serve on the Supreme Court, her dissent in the UNC indicates that she fundamentally fails to understand her duties as a judge. Beyond that, her inability to handle data accurately and truthfully causes me to expect that we will have much to say about Ms. Brown-Jackson’s opinions in future years.

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