Supreme Court Upholds Michigan Ban on Affirmative Action

In a 6-2 vote, the Supreme Court has upheld Michigan's ban on affirmative action in college admissions. The full opinion in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action is here.

The opinion holds that Michigan voters had the right to amend their constitution to prohibit public universities from considering race in admissions decisions.

Justices Sotomayor wrote the 58 page dissent, joined in by Justice Ginsburg. The Chicago Tribune discusses the dissent here. [More...]

The opinion pertains to a 2006 Michigan constitutional amendment approved by 58% of the state's voters. The amendment banned the use of racial preferences in university admissions. It states:

[state colleges and universities] “shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.”

Justice Kennedy wrote in his opinion:

“This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it.”

... "It is important to note what this case is not about," he wrote at the outset of his opinion. "It is not about the constitutionality, or the merits, of race-conscious admissions policies in higher education."

According to the Wall St. Journal, eight states, including California, have ended affirmative action since 1996. The decision does not affect states without such a ban or states where affirmative action is used. The Detroit Free Press puts it this way:

The opinion doesn't end affirmative action — it just very strongly upheld the right of voters to ban it.

The New York Times has an editorial on the decision, Racial Equality Loses at the Court . It agrees with Justice Sotomayor's statement, “Our Constitution places limits on what a majority of the people may do,” she wrote, such as when they pass laws that oppress minorities." and adds:

That’s what the affirmative action ban does, by altering the political process to single out race and sex as the only factors that may not be considered in university admissions.

I think it's a bad decision. Why should voters of a state that is overwhelmingly white be allowed to restrict the decisions of a state university as to minority admissions? How can minorities ever gain equal standing under such a scenario? As Justice Sotomayor wrote:

“The Constitution does not ...give the majority free rein to erect selective barriers against racial minorities.”

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    Just a thought (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 05:51:52 PM EST
    Not everyone who has reservations about AA is by default a racist.

    Let's try this (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by NYShooter on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 10:45:17 PM EST
    from another angle. But, first, let me state that the whole racism, affirmative action, equality/inequality, fairness thing is a very, very difficult and complicated conundrum. Simple, and, or, rigid statements/positions certainly don't help. When I hear one-liners like, (paraphrasing) "oh, so you're going to end discrimination by discriminating?" it just means to me that this person is so completely invested in his/her position that asking him/her to keep an open mind seems pointless. Unfortunately, way too many on-line discussions are of this type, and, rarely, if ever, are any minds changed, or consensus reached. But, I've found (for example) ExcitableBoy to be a pretty smart, clear thinking guy, so, WTF, let's give it a try, anyway. (And, we all know Squeaky is brilliant, no matter how hard he tries to hide it sometimes.)

    I'll go first, O.K? Since we all know that racism, discrimination, and, inequality are bad things in a democracy, and, if we're ever going to come close to achieving a fairer, more egalitarian society this problem must be solved. Unfortunately, we're not dealing with mathematics, or, chemistry, where, if we only find the missing number, or, symbol, the equation is solved, and, everyone's happy. "Inequality," however, will never be solved, at least, not 100% as in math, or, chemistry.  

    So, I hope that we can agree that as difficult and ingrained our problem is it must be solved, or, at least solved to the greatest degree possible. And, I hope we can also agree that we're a long way from reaching that goal. We tried passing laws eliminating discrimination, but, 100 years of Jim Crow proved how silly that hope was. Nope, if you put perverse, unyielding racism in a ring with Laws, Racism wins every time. And, if a democratic, humane society can't score a knock-out victory over racism with Laws, we'll just have to do it on points. It's not quite as satisfying as a knockout, but, it may be as good as we're going to get.

    Now, getting back to the issue of Affirmative Action in our schools, specifically, as it relates to colleges/Universities. Let me remind everyone how well (snark) anti-discrimination laws worked in the case of Police/Fire, and, other, historically, "White Male Only" Departments. No matter how many laws were passed, and, no matter how disproportionate the prevailing population was, white males, overwhelmingly, filled the employment rolls. Judges became more, and, more frustrated by this seemingly intractable situation. "How can you say you're an equal employment entity when you're your new hires are all white men?" Employment managers cried back, "we're doing everything in our power to hire more females, and minorities, but, it's not our fault that only white men can pass the entry tests."

    I won't make this post any longer than it's gotten to be by going through all the machinations that were forced onto those stubborn, dug-in employers. Somehow they (were forced to) figure out how to make fair, duty specific tests, and, as they say, the rest is history. Females and minorities entered those, once forbidden, fields, and, have performed as admirably, dutifully, and, bravely as the once all-white-male employees that came before.

    Now, I've just scratched the surface in discussing this topic. My main point is that relying on the innate goodness of our people is a no-brainer; it ain't gonna work. Yes, it will have to mandated, and, also yes, a small fraction of deserving people will be denied their first preference. In horse racing they put weights in the saddles to even out the burden each horse will carry; in employment, anti-discriminatory practices (not just wishes) must be in place........and, our kingdom has not collapsed. The law refers to "de facto de juro." In layman's terms, "wishes don't make it so."

    One Mo Time: Affirmative Action ain't perfect, but, until someone comes up with something better, it's as good as you're going to get.

    And, it's a whole lot better than what came before.

    I don't understand. (none / 0) (#1)
    by lentinel on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 11:21:24 PM EST
    If race can be used as a criterion for admissions, why is it to be assumed that this power would not be used to exclude rather than include minorities based on race?

    Examples of Exclusion? (none / 0) (#2)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 08:47:48 AM EST
    How would minorities be excluded under affirmative action? Any ideas?

    The ballot initiative was sought by anti-affirmative action forces still smarting over the Supreme Court's 2003 decision that upheld the use of race as one of many diversity factors at the University of Michigan law school. Michigan is 80 percent white, and ban supporters undoubtedly assumed they could tap into enough resentment over affirmative action to win.

    They were correct. The initiative won with 58 percent of the vote. In a CNN exit poll, Proposal 2, as it was called, received 64 percent white support (including 70 percent among white men). It mattered not that African Americans voted against the proposal by nearly a 9 to 1 margin.

    Boston Globe: Supreme Court Upholds  Tyranny of the Majority


    Asian Americans (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Cody on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:21:35 AM EST
    Well, the obvious example would be Asian Americans, who are (generally speaking) admitted in lower numbers (ie, excluded) under affirmative action schemes than they would otherwise be.  (And in particular were admitted in lower numbers under the Michigan scheme.)

    This is also, I think, the largest hole in Sotomayor's argument that "The Constitution does not ...give the majority free rein to erect selective barriers against racial minorities."  Because is this is so, then it seems like it would follow that this dooms affirmative action, since it is a selective barrier against some racial minorities.

    (As others have noted, Asian American's were not mentioned once in any of the opinion's issues in this case.  An odd omission, I think.)


    The Statistics in California (none / 0) (#4)
    by RickyJim on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 12:02:25 PM EST
    In California, Asians make up about 11 percent of the college-age population. Yet 36.2 percent of freshmen admitted to the University of California are Asian, making them the largest racial group overall in the UC system.

    Latinos are the second biggest racial group, surpassing whites for the first time this year. They make up 28.8 percent of the freshman class. Whites are in third place, making up 26.8 percent of the freshmen class. "Among 15- to 19-year-olds in California, 49.4% are Hispanic, 29.2% are white," The Wall Street Journal reports, and "6 percent are blacks," who represent 4.2 percent of the incoming UC class.

    See the Atlantic article on the Sotomayor brief.

    Personally, I can't see the argument that the US Constitution dictates that a school must give preferential admission to any particular minority, even though it might be good public policy.  Isn't Sotomayor's argument similar to the argument for reparations?  


    Wow (2.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Slado on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 12:06:14 PM EST
    Same link seconds apart.

    To answer your question Yes.

    Her argument is a feelings argument.   It's OK to violate the constitution in order to right racial wrongs.  Can't agree.


    You really ought to take some time (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by NYShooter on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 07:03:01 PM EST
    and try to comprehend what the issues are before spouting out racially bigoted, Limbaugh one-liners.

    "It's OK to violate the constitution in order to right racial wrongs."

    Maybe, the single dumbest comment posted here, yet.

    Do you even understand that, after centuries as slaves, and, indentured servants to a ruling class, the oppressed people, immediately after being "freed"....on paper, may not be able to, effectively, compete with their oppressors right off the bat?  Or, maybe, in your "free market utopia," a burglar, after a lifetime of stealing, and, the, being caught should simply be able to say, "sorry, I won't do it again, "now, let's compete."


    Can't speak for Slado (none / 0) (#21)
    by ExcitableBoy on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 10:28:54 AM EST
    but I understand the issue just fine. Attempting to rectify the past, and present, racial inequalities in this country is a noble idea. But there's a word for discrimination in pursuit of a nobe idea: discrimination.

    You just can't hold some people back because of the color of their skin in order to benefit other people because of the color of their skin. You have to find another way.


    Really? (none / 0) (#22)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 12:06:15 PM EST
    You just can't hold some people back because of the color of their skin in order to benefit other people because of the color of their skin. You have to find another way.

    I am quite certain that you would scream about any measure that would attempt to balance the inequality in America.

    Your comment is empty, imo.


    You're wrong about me (none / 0) (#23)
    by ExcitableBoy on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 01:19:07 PM EST
    I wouldn't scream about any measure to balance the inequality; that's ridiculous. I understand the fallout from our racial history is ongoing. I'm not a "slavery ended a long time ago, get over it" person.

    But the essence of AA boils down to racial discrimination in order to remedy racial discrimination, and I think that's illegal. Either we have equal protection under the law in regards to race, or we don't. Kids have a right not to be hindered in college admission because of the color of their skin.


    Really? (none / 0) (#24)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 01:40:18 PM EST
    So the only way to balance the scales is to give the advantaged parties the same advantages given to the disadvantaged?

    Winds up more heavily weighted on the side of the already advantaged, imo

    Any money or funds spent on balancing the scales would have face the same argument you put forth.

    Were all people treated the same from the start, your argument would have merit. But then we would not need to balance anything, would we?


    First (none / 0) (#29)
    by ExcitableBoy on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 03:52:22 PM EST
    who cares what coulda/woulda/shoulda been the case from the start. Yes, slavery bad, Jim Crow bad, generational inequity bad. Let's just stipulate the obvious and move on to the pertinent discussion.

    Secondly, to NOT discriminate against whites (the advantaged you're speaking about) is not to GIVE them an advantage. You're not bestowing any special privelege on them by not screwing them; you're just not screwing them.

    Also, you're not automatically advantaged by being white. There are plenty of dirt-poor white kids from all over the country who are not masters of the universe or part of the club due to their whiteness, popular theory notwithstanding. So they can be the first in their family to even try to attend college, overcome whatever adversity they face in their lives, work their butts off, and they can be told sorry, we've got to pass you over for this other person who may be terribly disadvantaged due to the ravages of racism, or possibly the child of parents who have managed to benefit tremendously despite this history, or even be the child of parents who came from another country entirely, and didn't even suffer the inequity of American racism? This is to say nothing of Asians, who seem to have also been the designated losers of AA (though I've seen some stories that say this isn't true). If true, are you OK with them as collateral damage? As I said, it's not simple.

    But these other things aside, the main problem is how to help the victims of our racial history, and regardless of how you feel about me, I take this seriously and am very concerned with it. I'd start with the money. It's illegal to discriminate on the basis of skin color, but not on the basis of your bank account. Use a combination of financial factors, history of higher education in the family, etc. Get creative. Use a set of conditions that will give you the greatest ability to helf African Americans while not focusing on skin color, and hurting others unfairly.


    White Victims? (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 04:49:03 PM EST
    White discrimination? Really this thread is not the place to argue about the poor white kids who are getting put out on the street because of Affirmative Action.

    Affirmative Action is working, except in Michigan and other states who have banned it.

    White people want to get rid of it. White people who hold the reigns of power in America do not want black people share the power. That is called racism, and it is alive and kicking.

    And it is not racial history it is current events. I am glad that you take it seriously, but it seems that you feel that black people should not be given any advantage when it comes to college admission. And as far as it being illegal to discriminate on the basis of skin color, I assume you are arguing that white people are being discriminated against and that is illegal.

    What a load.  

    The Michigan amendment has already resulted in a 25 percent drop in minority representation in Michigan's public universities and colleges, even as the proportion of college-age African-Americans in the state has gone up.

    So (none / 0) (#31)
    by ExcitableBoy on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 05:21:50 PM EST
    if I feel it's wrong to remedy discrimination by discriminating, and want to find another way to accomplish the same goal by non-discriminatory means, I'm just trying to keep the black race down? Wow. Wish I could say I'm shocked, but it's just typical.

    And why ISN'T this the thread to talk about poor white kids getting screwed by AA? They just don't count? And again, Asians (or any other races) aren't addressed at all. That's OK, I'm sure you think I don't REALLY care about them at all. You apparently don't.

    I wouldn't know anything about white people who hold the reins of power; I'm not one of them. I won't mention any of the multi-gazillionaire white dudes who are very much devoted to AA, helping the downtrodden, etc. You're like John Belushi talking about the Germans bombing Peal Harbor; you're rolling.

    Racism is alive and kicking? Thanks for pointing that out, I had no idea. Next you'll be telling me the blockbuster news that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. I was hoping we could dispense with the obvious.

    You're right, I don't feel that that black people should be given any advantage when it comes to college admission BASED ON THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN, AT THE EXPENSE OF PEOPLE WITH OTHER SKIN COLORS. I want to find non-racist ways to achieve the same goal.


    OK (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:09:43 PM EST
    if I feel it's wrong to remedy discrimination by discriminating, and want to find another way to accomplish the same goal by non-discriminatory means,

    The Affirmative Action policy is to offset discrimination against black people. Colleges can set their admission requirements to reduce or eliminate black people from getting admitted without breaking the law.

    Racism is subtle, and endemic. Affirmative Action addresses discrimination that is legal.

    "Our Constitution places limits on what a majority of the people may do," she wrote, such as when they pass laws that oppress minorities.

    That's what the affirmative action ban does, by altering the political process to single out race and sex as the only factors that may not be considered in university admissions.

    While the Constitution "does not guarantee minority groups victory in the political process," Justice Sotomayor wrote, "it does guarantee them meaningful and equal access to that process. It guarantees that the majority may not win by stacking the political process against minority groups permanently."

    If it helps (3.67 / 3) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 05:49:46 PM EST
    I understand what you are trying to say.  Even agree with most of it

    A "feelings" argument??? (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by christinep on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:29:36 AM EST
    Fascinating!  Perhaps, slado, you might want to acquaint yourself with legal history ... especially, the merging of courts of law and equity.  IOW, more than a few hundred years ago in our English forerunner in legal structure, the understanding and practice and implementation of law evolved from a rigid (and often inhumane) separation of law and equity to promote both in the same court.

    The true jurist seeks to do equity.  Striving to attain that goal is most noticeable in the great cases that define our country.  Those cases -- e.g., Brown v. Board of Education -- are not considered great because of a constricted and constipated application of law.  The great cases, dear slado, interpret the Constitution, our Constitution that reflects our deepest values.  And, guess what:  Values, even legal values, are not mathematical.  

    Lastly, your comment appears to follow the classic "emotional" response of that club that would almost instinctively respond to a powerful argument by a powerful woman by spouting out something like "oh, she is being hysterical."  Now, the club tends to use words such as "emotional" to denigrate such a woman.  It seems to me that one can disagree with Justice Sotomayor (or any Justice) by analyzing & evaluating the opinion itself without tossing out the condescending "she is emotional" routine.  That is a dead giveaway.


    I also (none / 0) (#7)
    by lentinel on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 12:06:44 PM EST
    wonder about "Native Americans".

    I never see them mentioned as a minority.

    (And they can still be called "Redskins" with impunity.)

    Jewish people either, actually. Maybe Jewish people are now honorary white people.

    Very confused bag imo.

    I don't actually know much about the technical application of "affirmative action". Personally, I like all kinds of diversity and have profited by my contact with all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds and sexual orientations.

    But with respect to institutions, do they arrive at some percentage based on population?


    Not to put too much (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by NYShooter on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 07:34:13 PM EST
    of a fine point on it, but, Affirmative Action, and, "diversity," are somewhat different issues.

    A University could institute a policy of "diversity" simply because they believe a diverse, multi cultural, religious, ethnic, student body is a good thing. And, that it's necessary, in order to give its students the kind of exposure, learning, and, understanding that a group of "diverse" people bring to the experience.

    Affirmative Action, on the other hand, is, at its core, more of a legal/social issue. It's an attempt, a very small, IMO, attempt to give those people whose heritage, history, sense of being, and, national identity was ripped away in the most damaging, brutal, and, inhumane, way imaginable. People who have been forced to live on a par with farm animals, whose families were torn apart, and dispersed, and, whose history was purposefully stolen from them would, understandably, require many generations before having any chance to compete in a viable manner.  

    Obviously, a short blog post can't begin to explain why being against affirmative action is the racist's wet dream.


    How (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by lentinel on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 08:08:32 PM EST
    would you describe the experience of the Native American in this country?

    The word genocide comes to mind.

    Yet I hear nothing about that group of people.

    And, as I wrote, they are still called "redskins" with impunity.

    The words "affirmative action" are, for me, a euphemism for something.

    I would just like to know what it is a euphemism for.


    Certainly, the history of Native Americans, (none / 0) (#18)
    by NYShooter on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 03:19:14 AM EST
    at least since our arrival, has not been a pleasant one, and, one that has been shamefully excluded from most school curricula. Also, "Genocide," would, necessarily, be a term used if history were taught in our schools.
    Having said that, however, doesn't mean that the tragic history of the Native American's experiences Vis a Vis their engagement with (mostly) European explorers and settlers isn't available. And, I'm pretty certain that, depending on how far back one wants to look, many (most?) countries have episodes in their respective histories they're not proud of. History is just one of those topics that our educators have chosen to downplay. And, sadly, regarding that decision, I would agree with your, obvious disappointment.

    As George Santayana, famously stated, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Obviously, George Bush was absent when the subject of History was being offered at Yale. But, the good news is, as so many have stated here, "Google is your friend."


    Some thoughts. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by lentinel on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 05:22:59 AM EST
    It wasn't Bush who was absent when recent history was being taught - if indeed it was being taught at Yale.

    It was the US Congress and the American media who collectively seemed to have amnesia with respect to how we were finagled into the War in Vietnam with lies about how we had been attacked...

    So, Bushie-boy, who seemed familiar with the Reichstag fire-Gulf of Tonkin manual of manipulation went full steam ahead, and prevailed.

    He knew what he was doing. It was the rest of us who knew nothing.

    My quandary about affirmative action would not, at this time, be resolved by Google.

    For example: Not so long ago, Jews were prevented from becoming Doctors. They had to get their education overseas. There were quota systems in place in such high-class institutions as Harvard.
    There it is: a "quota system". One question I have is whether a quota system is the negative expression of "affirmative action". In other words, if one can legally discriminate by "race" or religion or sex positively, can not the legal basis for such action be used negatively? 'Tis my question.

    About the Native American:
    My thought about that at this moment is that they are never mentioned as a minority. As I keep saying, white people are shunned or fired for saying the "n" word, but the "r" word is just dandy. Obama can't even bring himself to take a definitive stand on that glaringly obvious subject - just as it took him almost a decade to "evolve" on the subject of human rights for gay people.

    To elaborate a little further: My bias is that once government enters the picture, it screws things up.

    This would bring me to two other points: Natural integration - which I have experienced and believe in. And the teachings of Malcolm X which have influenced me greatly.

    Both are topics in which I cannot engage at the moment but would be happy to at some other time should you wish to.


    Oh, sorry, (none / 0) (#19)
    by NYShooter on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 03:44:39 AM EST
    skipped over, "euphemism."

    Lentinel, please don't think I'm being disrespectful (it's actually heartening to find someone passionately interested in such weighty issues) but, a topical blog is a poor venue in which to, properly, discuss big issues like "Affirmative Action," or, our involvement with early American Natives. We wouldn't get three posts in before someone would pop up with a recipe for pickled peanut butter, and, "off they go." (Not that there's anything wrong with pickled peanut butter)

    "Affirmative Action" is such a large subject, college students can spend semesters, and, more, learning, discussing, and, debating the issue. And, with too many folks (some even here at TL) getting their history from the charlatans at FOX, too many good, interesting discussions devolve into rapid tongue, snark attacks.

    If you're seriously interested, I'll be around.


    I think your last sentence (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 08:00:13 PM EST
    Is part of the problem.  The con arguments are much easier to make and understand than the pro arguments.  As someone who is really for the idea I do wonder if the benefits are equal to the downside of the big and easy target it is.

    Google is your Friend (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 03:08:38 PM EST
    I don't actually know much about the technical application of "affirmative action".

    Here, here, here and here..  Here is a PDF on Affirmative Action and Native Americans  

    Prominent people against Affirmative Action:

    Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

    Frederick Lynch, the author of Invisible Victims: White Males and the Crisis of Affirmative Action

    Terry Eastland of the Weekly Standard..


    Asian Exclusion (none / 0) (#8)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 01:30:28 PM EST
    Researchers differ on whether Asian admission rates have climbed or fallen since the state banned racial preferences in 1998, although this NYU study says their admissions rates at prestigious UC schools actually fell by 16% or more between 1998 and 2009.

    Interesting argument not supporting your conservative view.

    The use of enrollment numbers to evaluate the effects of admissions policies is methodologically erroneous. The correlation between increased Asian American undergraduate enrollment on UC campuses and the implementation of race- blind admissions policies in California does not suggest a causal relationship between the two occurrences, as demonstrated by the decline in the rate of admissions for AAPI applicants at UC campuses since 1998.

    The increase in AAPI enrollment at UC campuses was most likely caused by significant demographic shifts in the state and a higher yield rate among admitted AAPI applicants. Thus, California does not provide adequate evidence that Asian Americans benefit from race-blind college admissions policies.


    Affirmative action was implemented to give those who historically have the deck stacked against them in America, namely due to racism.

    If Asians do not want to be helped by affirmative action they should be able to opt out of the programs that they assert are limiting their education possibilities.


    How do they opt out? (none / 0) (#9)
    by Slado on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 02:36:04 PM EST
    They simply want to go to college and have their academic records be the reason they do or don't get into the school of their choice.

    They can't "opt out" of a system where the admissions are rigged to right a wrong they had nothing to do with or to meet an arbitrary racial quota.

    Supporting this system means that you support social engineering based on skin color rather then academic abilities.

    If you perceive that a certain minority needs help to reach their potential start at the source.   Help them when it matters.  When they're in the K-12 system.   Not after the system has failed them.


    Help (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 03:13:10 PM EST
    OK well lets send all the inner city latino and blacks to K-12 at the top Manhattan private schools. Include private tutoring, meals, and I think that we can equalize the gross disparity that the beneficiaries of Affirmative Action reap.

    I am sure the cost would be a fraction of corporate welfare, mortgage relief (middle and upper middle class welfare) and the military budget.

    And then we can do away with Affirmative Action.

    I am with you SLado.  K-12 is the ticket.


    The failure of K-12 is only a symptom. (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:38:56 PM EST
    Di Blasio will start even earlier. (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:14:02 PM EST
    The problem with her dissent (none / 0) (#5)
    by Slado on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 12:04:07 PM EST
    is she uses a very general term when she talks about minorities.   Isn't she really talking about Blacks and Hispanics?  What about other minorities and whites that are hurt by affirmative action?

    If you give a student an advantage over another based on race somebody loses.   Be they White, Hispanic, Black, Indian, or Asian.  Is Affirmative action OK as long as only White people lose?

    Her whole argument is based on the assumption that affirmative action is morally right in the first place and that in practice it's results outweigh the obvious consequences.   Namely that a more qualified student is excluded from admission based on the color of their skin.  

    The Atlantic

    Key quote...

    But to me, the future of affirmative action looks like Asian Americans pitted against blacks, Hispanics split among themselves, mixed-race students forcing ever-more-fraught judgment calls, and an inevitable shark-jumping lawsuit from a member of the white minority claiming that he or she should qualify. Wouldn't it be easier to end legacy admissions, pressure colleges to subsidize test prep, and give all poor kids a boost when they apply to state universities?

    When someone loses (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Jack E Lope on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 10:09:26 AM EST
    ...a privilege [formerly] afforded by their race or gender, it can come as a shock.  

    White privilege can be a difficult concept for those who receive it to grasp.  Most of us do not think of it as privilege, but as something we have a right to have.


    Not to go OT (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 10:21:17 AM EST
    But see Clivren Bundy.  Criticizeing the recipients of govt assistance while, even IF HE PAID THE BILL,  he is a participant In a massive govt subsidy program recently re-uped in the massve farm bill that cut food stamps and increases subsidies for people like him.

    Who Has Got the Better Case and Why? (none / 0) (#25)
    by RickyJim on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 01:41:39 PM EST
    1. Ethnic group A complains that a law that gives ethnic group B preferential college admissions violates A's (equal protection?) constitutional rights.

    2. Ethnic group B complains that a law forbidding them from getting preferential college admissions over other ethnic groups violates B's constitutional rights.  I think the Schuette case was exactly this.

    Asian v Blacks? (none / 0) (#26)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 01:45:11 PM EST
    Are those the two "hypothetical" ethnic groups you are referring to?

    What do you think would be a good idea to give disadvantaged students equal access to education?


    Not Conciously (none / 0) (#27)
    by RickyJim on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 01:55:55 PM EST
    I didn't connect A and B with those ethnic groups when writing the post (Honest!). What I think is the best public policy is irrelevant to the constitutional question.  

    I See (none / 0) (#28)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 02:03:54 PM EST
    What I think is the best public policy is irrelevant to the constitutional question.  

    So you think that this is an abstract problem, kind of like math?

    Equal is a math term.... OK