Affirmative action

The Hoarse Voice of the Left

Featured image If you thought the primal screams from the left after the Dobbs decision were deafening, just wait until after next Tuesday’s election result, and especially next year if the Supreme Court strikes down affirmative action at the end of this term. I expect the left is going to go hoarse from all their primal screaming. The New Republic is especially alarmed that, as they put it in a headline today, »

After the Harvard Case, What Next?

Featured image It is sad that 161 years after Confederates fired on Fort Sumter, and 154 years after the adoption of the 14th Amendment, we are still debating whether public institutions like the University of North Carolina should be able to engage in race discrimination. One might have thought that by now, that issue would have been settled. Liberals seem resigned to the fact that that they now will have to pretend, »

Chief Justice Roberts for the Win

Featured image I listened to all five hours of the Supreme Court oral argument today while on a long car drive home, and am hoping to post a special podcast tomorrow going over the whole scene, but for me, one single moment especially stands out. Seth Waxman, the primary attorney defending Harvard (a former solicitor general under President Clinton), was going head-to-head with Chief Justice John Roberts about whether race is a »

Affirmative action forever or not?

Featured image Linda Brown was the young girl who gave her name to the four cases consolidated for consideration in Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court case that effectively invalidated the regime of public school segregation. She died in 2018 at the age of 75 or 76. Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times obituary recounted her story. Genzlinger dealt inadequately with the Brown case. “In its ruling,” he wrote, “the »

Flashback: The 1969 Prophecy of the Corruption of Affirmative Action

Featured image With Supreme Court oral arguments now scheduled for the Harvard and University of North Carolina affirmative action cases, I’ve started reading through some of the amicus briefs filed in the case, and will comment on some of them in due course. Meanwhile, an exchange of letters between Macklin Fleming, a Justice of the Court of Appeals, State of California at Los Angeles, and Louis Pollak, Dean of the Yale Law School, that was »

Affirmative Action—Even More Unpopular Than Democrats

Featured image In other survey news, a brand new Pew Research Center survey finds that the public opposes race-based college admissions by a whopping 74 percent. Here’s the general breakdown of factors the public believe should guide admission: Pew, controlled for decades now by liberals despite—or rather against—the wishes of the very conservative J. Howard Pew who set up the Pew foundation, does its best to fog up the massive public opposition »

The College Admissions Sausage Factory

Featured image Our go-to thinker on civil rights issues, University of San Diego law professor Gail Heriot, is out with a new paper (with co-author Carissa Mulder) on “The Sausage Factory” of college admissions. Here is the abstract: The Supreme Court assumes that race-preferential admissions policies are the result of a careful academic judgment by colleges and universities that racial diversity has pedagogical benefits for students generally. But evidence shows that the »

Voters Don’t Like Supreme Court Set-Aside

Featured image Paul has argued here and here that Senate Republicans should feel free to oppose Joe Biden’s nominee to replace Stephen Breyer on the merits, in part because most voters don’t like the idea of a “set aside” Supreme Court seat that is available only to, in this case, black women. This poll, reported today by Rasmussen Reports, supports that conclusion: [O]nly 26% of voters think it’s a good idea to »

The Underhandedness of Affirmative Action in One Chart

Featured image “The Underhandedness of Affirmative Action” is the title of Harvey Mansfield’s prescient article in National Review way back in 1984 (unfortunately not available online easily that I can find). A key sample: To understand the threat [that affirmative action poses to constitutional government], let us return to the necessity that affirmative action conceal the help it renders its beneficiaries. As a policy, it cannot claim success, because to announce an »

“Passing” In the 21st Century

Featured image A central tenet of Critical Race Theory is that America’s institutions are “systemically” rigged to favor white people. POCs just can’t catch up, no matter what they do. Of course, if that were true it would be hard to explain why whites rank only 17th in median income, trailing such allegedly oppressed groups as Lebanese, Iranian, Pakistani, Syrian, Ghanian and Nigerian Americans, as well, of course, as Indian-Americans, whose median »

Systemic Racism and Affirmative Action

Featured image Classical music is under attack by the “woke” because the overwhelming majority of classical musicians are either Asian or white. Heather Mac Donald tells the depressing story. Her whole article is worth reading, but for now I want to focus on this: in recent history, orchestra auditions have generally been “blind,” i.e., the performer is behind a screen so that the judges are not influenced by his or her gender, »

Book of the Week: A Dubious Expediency

Featured image While we await word as to whether the Supreme Court will take up appeal of the case of Harvard’s blatant discrimination against Asians, we note the publication this week of A Dubious Expediency: How Race Preferences Damage Higher Education, a fine essay collection edited by Gail Heriot and Maimon Schwarzchild of the University of San Diego, and published by our friends at Encounter Books. The title of the book—”a dubious »

Math is Hard—Hardest of All for the Left

Featured image In recent weeks we’ve seen the announcement that certain Virginia public school districts (and others elsewhere in the country) will discontinue advanced math classes, because “equity,” and the University of California will permanently discontinue using the SAT for admission purposes. If you want to know why the left is doing this, have a close look at this chart: If there’s one thing the left can’t abide at the moment, it »

Trump in Afghanistan

Featured image In a surprise Thanksgiving visit, President Trump flew to Afghanistan to visit the troops at Bagram Air Field. It is his first visit to the Afghanistan theater. The president left Mar-a-Lago and flew overnight to be with the troops. In Afghanistan he has announced that the United States has resumed talks with the Taliban and that the talks are focused on a possible ceasefire. This is from the CBS News »

Election Aftermath

Featured image Move over Cook County, Illinois, and make room for King County in Washington state, where Seattle’s ongoing bid to rival San Francisco in the crazy department is only exceeded by its dubious record in ballot counting after close elections. Last week I noted that the attempt to reimpose affirmative action in Washington state had failed at the ballot box, but then the “late vote” started coming in from King County. »

Racial discrimination forever, Harvard edition

Featured image Scott has already written about the decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, which upholds excluding many Asian-American applicants to Harvard who, by all objective criteria should be admitted, on the theory that they fit the stereotype of being, in effect, too serious. Harvard doesn’t really think the Asian-American applicants are too serious. It just needs an excuse for keeping a lid on the number of Asian-Americans at Harvard »

Affirmative action forever, Harvard edition

Featured image Federal district court judge Allison Burroughs has upheld Harvard’s racially discriminatory admissions policy in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard (embedded below). Long story short: Harvard’s discrimination is all in a good cause. Asian-Americans are only incidental victims and they aren’t treated any more poorly in the process than white students. Harvard doesn’t mean anything invidious by it. The AP story on the ruling is here. Stuart Taylor, Jr.’s 2018 »