Racial Preferences

Affirmative action today…(2)

Featured image Word comes today via Michelle Hackman’s Wall Street Journal story that the Trump administration is planning to rescind “a set of Obama-era policies that encourage the use of race in college admissions to promote diverse educational settings[.]” Hackman tacfully couches her report in the euphemisms that enshroud the practice of racial discrimination in the name of “affirmative action.” Hackman does not link to either of the two Obama administration guidance »

Sometimes it’s the crime you didn’t commit that nails you

Featured image That’s the theme, or at least the punchline, of Preston Sturges’ classic movie “The Great McGinty,” among other works of art. It may also end up being the kicker in the class action lawsuit against Harvard for discriminating against Asian-Americans in undergraduate admissions. Harvard wants to admit African-Americans and Latinos more or less in proportion to their representation in the U.S. population. It can’t do so if it makes admissions »

Is this the Sandra Day O’Connor moment?

Featured image In Grutter v. Bollinger, the Supreme Court upheld the use of race-based preferences by the University of Michigan Law School, The vote was 5-4. In her majority opinion, Justice O’Connor concluded that the University has a compelling interest in promoting diversity in the classroom. However, O’Connor also said: [A]ll governmental use of race must have a logical end point. We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial »

Harvard’s experts undercut the case for race-based admissions

Featured image Charles Lane of the Washington Post discusses the suit brought by Asian-American plaintiffs charging Harvard with racial discrimination in undergraduate admissions. The column is from the “on the one hand this, on the other hand that” school of opinion writing — not a despicable approach, either in general or to this topic. To me, the most interesting bit of information in Lane’s column is this: Harvard’s expert witness told the »

Statistics establish Harvard’s discrimination against Asian-Americans

Featured image John wrote here about the class action lawsuit that accuses Harvard of discriminating against Asian-Americans in admissions. The plaintiffs have moved for summary judgment, arguing that they should prevail based on facts not genuinely in dispute. One fact not genuinely in dispute is that Harvard’s own researchers found statistical evidence that the University’s undergraduate application process discriminates against Asian-Americans. In 2013, the Harvard Office of Institutional Research found that Asian-Americans »

Harvard Doesn’t Like Asians

Featured image I wrote here about the class action lawsuit that accuses Harvard of discriminating against Asian-Americans. The court has denied Harvard’s motions to dismiss, and the case is moving forward, which caused the university to defend its admissions practices in an email to its alumni. In denying discrimination, Harvard says it relies on a “whole-person admissions process.” That is, Harvard “considers the whole person, not just an applicant’s grades and test »

A great high school and the mayor who would diminish it

Featured image Let’s imagine an academically elite public high school in a big, diverse city. Admission is based solely on how well one does on an entrance examination. No racial or ethnic preferences, no preference for children of alums, no preference for athletes, no guidance counselor recommendations. Just the test score. We have imagined Stuyvesant High School, the crown jewel of the New York City school system. In a better world, we »

Harvard Begs to Discriminate

Featured image Today Drew Faust, President of Harvard University, emailed alumni and others to comment on the lawsuit that accuses Harvard of discriminating against Asian-Americans in admissions: Dear Alumni and Friends, In the weeks and months ahead, a lawsuit aimed to compromise Harvard’s ability to compose a diverse student body will move forward in the courts and in the media. Until now, the case has been tied up in Harvard’s multiple motions »

The High Price of Stale Grievances

Featured image That is the title of this essay by Columbia undergraduate Coleman Hughes. The piece is quite brilliant. More than that, Hughes must be one of America’s bravest young men. Hughes’s subject is the double standard that is so often applied in favor of African-Americans. He begins with an anecdote about being selected to back the singer Rihanna on the MTV Video Music Awards. Several of his friends were chosen as »

Sander comes to Middlebury

Featured image I mentioned the then forthcoming appearance of Professor Richard Sander to speak at Middlebury College in “Darkeness at Penn, take 2” (discussing the Amy Wax affair). Sander is professor of law at the UCLA School of Law. He became interested in the subject of “affirmative action” when he joined the UCLA faculty. Professor Sander is the coauthor (with Stuart Taylor, Jr.) of Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended »

The horror! Trump HUD backs away from radical Obama concepts

Featured image Glenn Thrush — remember him? — attacks Ben Carson and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for abandoning certain suits and others actions undertaken by the Obama administration in the name of “fair housing.” It does not seem to have occurred to Thrush that there are two visions of what fair housing law requires and that Secretary Carson isn’t bound to follow the more radical of the two. Or »

Darkness at Penn, take 2

Featured image Professor Amy Wax is of course the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She earned an M.D. degree from Harvard in addition to her J.D. degree from Columbia Law School. She holds an endowed chair at the law school. She must be one of the most prominent members of the faculty. Yet she is the subject of a campaign of vilification and stigmatization for »

Darkness at Penn

Featured image Last year I wrote about the academic tempest aroused by Professors Amy Wax and Larry Alexander in “That which must not be said.” They aroused the tempest with this Philadelphia Inquirer column recapitulating a few home truths. Professor Wax is the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She earned an M.D. degree from Harvard in addition to her J.D. degree from Columbia Law School. »

Discipline Quotas: The Obama Administration’s Evil Lives On (Part 2)

Featured image I wrote here about the Obama administration’s “guidance” threatening litigation against school districts that failed to enforce quotas in school discipline, and the baleful effects that policy is still having across the country. A variation on the theme comes from a case called Kenny v. Wilson, decided just a few days ago by a panel of the 4th Circuit. The case was brought by the ACLU, which alleged that South »

DeVos DOE clings to perverse Obama-era policy on school discipline

Featured image Four years ago, the Obama administration promulgated a Dear Colleague letter on school discipline. It was a joint Department of Justice/Department of Education production. More than a year into the Trump administration, the letter still stands. The fault lies with Betsy DeVos’ Department of Education. The Justice Department under Jeff Sessions strongly supports recalling the Dear Colleague letter. I’m told, however, that the DOE is pushing back. The DOE’s pushback »

Amy Wax barred from teaching mandatory first-year class at Penn law

Featured image Readers may recall how Amy Wax, a University of Pennsylvania law professor, incurred the wrath of the left, including black law students at Penn, by saying that which must not be said — the social practices at the heart of middle class America from the late 1940’s through the 1960’s are a recipe for success, personal and societal, and their rejection is a recipe for dysfunction and decline. Wax and »

Inclusion riders, quotas, and confusion

Featured image Yesterday, I commented on actress Frances McDormand’s call for Hollywood stars to insist on “inclusion riders” in their contracts. These riders, as I understand them, would condition starring in a film on the producer’s willingness to hire a certain percentage of minorities and women for the production. Stacy Smith, originator of the idea, has explained that this means “for on-screen roles that are supporting and minor, they have to be »