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April 22, 2014

Supreme Court Rules It's Ok For States To Not Discriminate Based On Race In College Admissions

It's amazing that self-anointed "leaders" of the civil rights movement in this country had actually twisted themselves to the point where they were arguing there was a constitutional mandate to discriminate based on race in college admissions. But we were.

The Supreme Court didn't rule that race based admission factors were unconstitutional. The 6-2 majority simply says that states once having created such preferences could legally remove them.

The justices said in a 6-2 ruling Tuesday that Michigan voters had the right to change their state constitution to prohibit public colleges and universities from taking account of race in admissions decisions. The justices said that a lower federal court was wrong to set aside the change as discriminatory.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said voters chose to eliminate racial preferences because they deemed them unwise.

Kennedy said nothing in the Constitution or the courtís prior cases gives judges the authority to undermine the election results.

I for one am gladdened and amused by Kennedy's new found respect for the people's right to amend their state constitution. I'm sure he'll lose it the next time his magic coin comes up the other way.

I'm having trouble downloading the opinion but I'm guessing Kagan recused herself from the case because of her work a Solicitor General. Ruth Bader Ginsberg joined Wise Latina Sonya Sotomayor's dissent which she read it from the bench (something justices do to show they have a sad over a decision).

I guess that means Steven Breyer joined with the majority which is...weird.

Added: This story has more background and the local view of the case.

University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and admissions director Ted Spencer have decried the affirmative action ban, saying outright that the school cannot achieve a fully diverse student body with it in place.

"It's impossible," Spencer said in a recent interview, "to achieve diversity on a regular basis if race cannot be used as one of many factors."

Fifty-eight percent of Michigan voters in 2006 passed Proposal 2, a ballot initiative that amended the state constitution and made it illegal for state entities to consider race in admissions and hiring. With the Supreme Court's ruling, the only way left to nullify Proposal 2 is to mount a long, expensive and uncertain campaign to overturn it.

You want to fix the racial diversity issues in colleges? Ok, start with elementary and high schools. Start turning out students from places like Detroit that are ready to compete for slots at schools like U of M. If that means blowing up the public education system and the teacher's unions and replacing them with voucher programs and charter schools, so be it. It's "for the children" after all.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:43 AM

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