January 24, 2022

"The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear challenges to the admissions process at Harvard and the University of North Carolina..."

"... presenting the most serious threat in decades to the use of affirmative action by the nation's public and private colleges and universities.... In the latest case, groups backed by a longtime opponent of affirmative action, Edward Blum of Maine, sued Harvard and UNC in federal court, claiming that Harvard's undergraduate admissions system discriminated against Asian American students and that UNC's discriminated against both Asian American and white students.... The challengers in both cases, Students for Fair Admissions, urged the justices to overrule the court’s 2003 decision on affirmative action, which upheld the University of Michigan's use of race as a plus factor and served as a model for similar admissions programs nationwide...."

NBC News reports.

93 comments:

Owen said...

1. Douse hair with lighter fluid.
2. Light match.
3. Carry on.

Kevin said...

"This shit can't go on forever." -- Justice O'Connor

Lance said...

"Mandating race-blind admissions programs would undermine those universities' ability to engage in the kind of individualized review that yields a class that is both diverse and excellent," Harvard's lawyers told the court.

Wow that's some high-grade doublespeak right there.

mikee said...

The individual is the most intersectionally fair group one can identify. Treat all persons as individuals, ignoring overt group identity traits such as skin color, naughty bits, origin stories, beliefs, sexual desires, and you eliminate all unfair inputs to a selection process.

Outputs may vary, with "disparate impact" on various groups, but that cannot be helped in any process - outside those which force selection beyond individual identities and performance.

Disparate impact is a major failure of any affirmative action system, and is one reason to avoid affirmative action.

rehajm said...

which upheld the University of Michigan's use of race as a plus factor and served as a model for similar admissions programs nationwide

What the hell does ‘a plus factor’ even mean in this context? Weasel words intended to justify discrimination on the basis of race..

Achilles said...

Racism is racism. Racial preferences do not help anyone. Especially not hte people they are "intended" to help.

If you take 3 levels of University, local, state, elite. The average IQ for local is 90, average for state level is 100, and elite is 110.

Now apply racial preferences. You give black and hispanic kids 10 points on the test. You subtract 10 points from asian students.

At the local schools you have 80 IQ black/hispanic, 90 IQ white, and 100 IQ asian.

State level 90/100/110. You take the best and the brightest out of each group and send them to the elite schools. 100 Black/hispanic. 110 White. 120 Asian.

At every level you have created a situation where the black and hispanic students are behind everyone else.

The results are exactly as you would guess. The point of affirmative action is to cause division. They are making sure than no matter where people go they are inferior to their peers.

The people who support affirmative action do not have good intentions. They are just racists.


Sebastian said...

"use of race as a plus factor"

That was a funny case, wasn't it? Did Althouse ever teach it in con law?

At Harvard, plus means everything.

Real American said...

good. racism has no place in the admissions process.

Browndog said...

They ruled against the University of Michigan, twice I believe, for the same thing. Didn't stop the practice for one second. Just reworded it and off we go making it's way through the courts once again.

Dave Begley said...

It really makes little difference what SCOTUS does as Harvard will do what it wants to do.

Ceciliahere said...

When my daughter (white) applied early admission to an Ivy League college and was deferred, I was told that the school first admitted one-third athletes, one-third minorities, and one-third legacies. These three categories were the most important for the school to fill. That was back in 1993. At that time, I don’t think there were many Asian athletes, or that Asians were considered minorities, or many Asians were legacies. She ultimately was admitted and then volunteered to tutor a Black athlete. The Asians are definitely being discriminated against and I believe have a legitimate case against Harvard. I hope they win.

Achilles said...

The problem the racists have is that they want to treat people by group.

They do not want people to be treated as individuals with individual problems and individual needs.

They wanted slaves and they were taken away.

They wanted segregation and that was taken away.

So they changed the name of segregation and re-implemented it.

And now they are openly pushing segregation all through our society.

They are just racists and divisive shitheads.

They have overstepped. The reckoning is coming.

tim maguire said...

This would be a great opportunity for the court to be courageous in doing the right thing. I'm not optimistic.

Brian said...

But Gratz v. Bollinger doesn't "expire" for another 6 years! Way to early. Stare Decisis and all.

Dave Begley said...

Harvard and the Ivies should just use a lottery system. Reserve so many seats for athletes and a number of seats for legacies with minimum SAT scores. For the rest of the seats, if the applicant has an SAT score above a cutoff number then have a lottery to see who gets in. Race isn't a factor. True meritocracy.

Maynard said...

This should be interesting.

The usual suspects will be telling us that this case is all about White Supremacy. Will the SCOTUS vote to affirm White and Asian Privilege or will they help favored minorities get a leg up?

The big question in my mind is what John Roberts will do. His boytoy Kavanaugh will likely follow suit.

BothSidesNow said...

Ironic that Harvard is a party to this case. Harvard could easily achieve more diversity by shelving its legacy admissions policy, which is affirmative action for the children and grandchildren of white alumni. Remember in the South when states established onerous literacy tests for voting, but grandfathered in the current voters? And claimed that the grandfathering was race neutral? Harvard's admission policy is a bit like that.

gilbar said...

can't We ALL Agree?
That black people of color just Aren't as Smart, or Motivated, or hard working enough...
To be able to compete on a level playing field, as whites (and Certainly not with asians)...
And THUS, Need a special leg up to be able to be accepted at top level schools???

AND IF; blacks aren't accepted into top level schools....
How on Earth are we going to make them
disgruntled and HATEFUL, when they flunk out of those top level schools?

Readering said...

Pretty serious threat just 6 years ago in a case from University of Texas in which ex-USSG Kagan recused herself. But aggressive questioner Scalia died after argument, and Kennedy surprised all by writing 4-3 opinion upholding UT policy. Now 2 in that majority gone. Writing on the wall. Petitioners will say case not about affirmative action so much as outright discrimination.

In 2003 the Court looked at 2 UMichigan programs and gave different answers. Doubt same will hold true this time with Harvard and UN, although one private and one public.

Only the Chief went to Harvard (graduating in 3 years). Wonder how many, if any, of the others were rejected. 6 ended up at close peers. (Thomas went into the seminary before transferring to an RC liberal arts college, and Barrett also attended a small liberal arts college.) None went to a public university.


Dude1394 said...

Well let’s see. We know the three democrat judges will vote for race based admission policies. They are solid democrat judges, unlike the federal society anointed ones. It appears the republicans need a different nominating mechanism. More solid Republican judges.

Mike Sylwester said...

The Federal Government should not be deciding the enrollment practices of state colleges or of private colleges.

Iman said...

Using racism in the present to address racism of the past?

It makes no sense, does it…

Big Mike said...

We should have grasped this nettle back in 2003, but Sandra Day O’Connor let herself get persuaded otherwise. Mistake!

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Awesome!

It took them too long to get there, but good

minnesota farm guy said...

I have been outraged by the courts' willingness to overlook Harvard's blatant racism in admissions. I maintain hope that SCOTUS will correct itself and adopt Robert's credo that the "best way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race"

Critter said...

Good. We cannot eliminate discrimination on the basis of race by enshrining discrimination on the cases of race.

rhhardin said...

Even if blacks didn't have an average much lower IQ than whites and East Asians, affirmative action guarantees that blacks are always surrounded by people who are a lot smarter than they are. That's not a friendly environment to live in.

Mostly the black response is to segregate within the campus.

Earnest Prole said...

All these backward places with Affirmative Action. In California we have none.

Ice Nine said...

Even if the SC rules against affirmative action in these cases, it will not go away. These leftist racialist AA zealots never give up. Never. Be assured that they will come up with a workaround.

BarrySanders20 said...

Two weeks to flatten the curve. 25 years of race-conscious admissions and it will no longer be necessary. Bakke (1978), Grutter (2003), Fisher (2016).

While Justice O’Connor’s opinion in Grutter endorsed Justice Powell’s opinion in Bakke, it cast the benefits of a racially diverse student body in explicitly racial terms, including “promot[ing] ‘cross-racial understand¬ing,’ help[ing] to break down racial stereotypes, and ‘enabl[ing] students to better understand persons of different races.’” This aspect of Grutter reappears in Fisher: Justice Kennedy directly invokes Grutter’s more explicitly racial understanding of the educational benefits of diversity.

Too Many Asians makes for a less-racially diverse student body, inhibits "cross-racial understanding," perpetuates racial stereotypes, and interferes with understanding people of different races, thereby defeating the alleged "benefits of diversity." Real life cares nothing for SCOTUS justifications for discrimination. The justices are tied up in knots trying to work around the quota problem. College admissions people said fuck it, we're doing quotas, because nobody wants a campus full of mostly Asians. Meanwhile, the beneficiaries of the "benefits of diversity" are demanding self-segregation and show no interest in promoting cross-racial understanding. So uncooperative!

Michael K said...

It will be interesting to see if the Supremes have the guts to take this on honestly. Fortunately, Sandra is gone.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

SCOTUS also granted review to Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, which could lead to "Waters of the United States" being pulled back to have a reasonable meaning, and Axon Enterprise, Inc. v. FTC, which could lead to further neutering of the Administrative State, in this case the administrative law judges that populate far too many agencies.

It's a good day for grants

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Browndog said...
They ruled against the University of Michigan, twice I believe, for the same thing. Didn't stop the practice for one second. Just reworded it and off we go making it's way through the courts once again.

That's because the Court wimped. There's reason to hope they won't wimp out this time, that Roberts will stick with "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Wow! Readering at 11:03 AM pretty much nailed it. (No, there is no sarcasm in that statement)

Kennedy was the weak link on racial discrimination. We need two of Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and ACB to be willing to be actually anti-racist, and therefore anti "Affirmative Action", and Alito, Thomas, and Roberts to stick with what they said 6 years ago, to get a win on this.

I believe that the delay in granting this case came from arguments among the 6 not completely leftist SCOTUS members about whether or not they had 5 willing to nuke AA.

If they didn't have 5, they wouldn't have taken the case.

And if SCOTUS gives university applicants a private right to sue for racial discrimination against any University engaging in AA, with an actual reasonable payout if they win, the practice WILL end

Hey Skipper said...

It seems Harvard is stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea.

It maintains very high admission standards because they are predictive of success in a very intense curriculum that is the basis of the brand value of the degree, which is, effectively a proxy for other qualities: intelligence, work ethic, etc.

If Harvard could get the number of BIPOC's it desired while maintaining admission standards for them, then this wouldn't be an issue. Obviously, it can't. Matriculating affirmative action admissions must do one of two things: serve as admission that the high standards themselves are beside the point, or that BIPOC Harvard grads are second rate.

And that is ignoring all the adverse selection consequences.

PM said...

rhhardin: "...affirmative action guarantees that blacks are always surrounded by people who are a lot smarter than they are. That's not a friendly environment to live in."

Granted not college, but my high school divided students into four academic levels A, B, C, & D. Seems impossible now, but A students were with A students in harder classes. If you slacked off, you dropped down. If you showed promise, climbed up. I don't buy that 'blacks average a lower IQ' crap mostly because it carpet bombs individual potential. Highest SAT score in my class, by 200 points, was the black kid who sold me pot.

n.n said...

Diversity-oriented affirmative discrimination not limited to racism that reflects affirmative action to enshrine color judgments and class-based bigotry, inequity, and exclusion, which, peculiarly, politically targets people of yellow (POY)... Asia (POA).

Luke Lea said...

How about affirmative action for all, at least in the Ivy League colleges? Let every demographic and every geographic region be represented in proportion to its share of the general population. That way no group could claim it was being discriminated against. Don't we want our national elites to represent the diversity of America?

MikeR said...

@Dude "It appears the republicans need a different nominating mechanism. More solid Republican judges." I don't think so. It's a point of pride that our judges, judge. They do their job, meaning that you can't tell ahead of time how they will rule.
The other kind of judges are not in the business of justice.

gahrie said...

Aren't O'Connor's 25 years nearly up anyway?

Guimo said...

Diversity, equity, inclusion zealots are the new segregationists.

Guimo said...

Diversity, equity, inclusion zealots are the new segregationists.

Mike Sylwester said...

I do not feel sorry for any Oriental-Americans who vote Democratic.

Guimo said...

DEI zealots are the new segregationists.

Christopher B said...

Mike Sylwester said...
The Federal Government should not be deciding the enrollment practices of state colleges or of private colleges.


As soon as they quit sucking off the public teat, they can implement whatever admissions practices they want. Until then, the people paying the bills get to make the rules.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Meh! I'm fine with Affirmative Action at the Ivies. I'd personally love to see Harvard become an HBCU.

Wa St Blogger said...

Schools can achieve a lot more racial diversity if they had the same policy but based everything on economic status. Median family income of all candidates should look like America. That will guarantee that lots of blacks and hispanics will be admitted. Of course, such a policy would eat into their endowments. Rich schools need rich students so that they have rich alumni. I wonder if the problem with Asians is that they, as a group give less to the alma matter than other racial groups...

Gerda Sprinchorn said...

This will be the test of whether the Republican Party has any purpose at all (beyond enriching its donors). It has had numerous opportunities to put justices on the SC that will do the right thing in this case.

Gerda Sprinchorn said...

The politics of AA have subtly shifted though.

If AA is genuinely eliminated, prestige universities will become heavily Asian. Silicon Valley is already dominated by Asians.

There hasn't been a lot of talk about this because the left wants to keep The Narrative black versus white, and most people don't see what is happening with their own eyes.

I have no idea how this is going to play out.

hawkeyedjb said...

rehajm said..."Mandating race-blind admissions programs would undermine those universities' ability to engage in the kind of individualized review that yields a class that is both diverse and excellent," Harvard's lawyers told the court.

"Wow that's some high-grade doublespeak right there."

Mandating race-blind admissions programs would undermine those universities' ability to engage in race-based admissions. Ooh, that doesn't sound nearly as nice, does it? That's why we have doublespeak.

Conrad said...

I believe "plus factor" was intended to mean that, as between two otherwise equivalent applicants, the school could favor the minority applicant in order to achieve/maintain a critical mass of diverse students so as enhance the quality of everyone's educational experience. The schools then took this narrow exception to race-blindness and expanded it, in practice, wide enough to drive a truck through. Black students ended up with an advantage over whites amounting to something like 200 points of SAT simply for being black. Harvard also has this mechanism in place whereby an applicant's personality or personal qualities are assigned a score, and then routinely score Asian applicants extremely low on that measure - without ever interviewing them!

Josephbleau said...

I think we need affirmative action for the Supreme Court. We need Justices who went to law school at Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Berkeley, and the like.

LH in Montana said...

My son is junior and is learning just how unfair the college admissions process is. He is in one of the most discriminated groups: White, male, middle class, very rural in fly-over country.

Since Trump, some admissions officers have admitted they are less likely to select such students because they perceive them to possess radical views that won't fit well in their schools.

GRW3 said...

The goo-goo liberals think affirmative action is a way to help bring equity to results. They're idiots. The elite have seized on affirmative action as a way to limit access to the top levels of society, reserving it mostly for their children. Minority kids let in without the actual capability to compete intellectually will fail or get shuffled into "whatever"-studies classes that gets the school a checkmark for graduating a minority but leaves them with a worthless degree. Those minorities that get in on merit get painted with the same brush in society. They have to throttle the Asian admissions to ensure that they have enough slots to allow non-minority, non-elite students into school to keep the obvious from becoming too obvious.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Hey, if anyone could build this new Master Race, my money is on Harvard.

Moondawggie said...

Mike Sylwester said...

"The Federal Government should not be deciding the enrollment practices of state colleges or of private colleges."

True, as long as those institutions don't accept federal or state taxpayer money.

But since they do take tons of taxpayer cash, the feds and states have every right to tell them what to do when they seem to be consciously and systematically discriminating against individuals based on their race/ethnicity.

Narayanan said...

Q: have these schools considered increasing class sizes? more classes etc?

bentoak said...

Serious threat. NBC News must find the Supreme Court itself a serious threat to everything. And Trump, his supporters, and most Republicans are a serious threat to democracy. And anyone who puts gas in a car is a serious threat to the planet because they don’t look up. Everything is so seriously threatening.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

Harvard has to preach their garbage about individual evaluation regardless of SAT score so they can admit their the near-do-wells/spoiled/unambitious progeny of their megadonors. Kids that will party instead of study and after four years of "schooling" will be just as useless as when they started. Fail to admit these kids, and Harvard's endowment goes down.

Follow the money. That's always the best explanation.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

Washington State voters passed I-200 in 1998, banning racial discrimination in hiring and admissions. The state legislature codified it as RCW 49.60.400 and Governor Locke issued an executive order to implement it. King Jay I just issued an executive order reinstating racial preferences. Once a racist, always a racist.

Big Mike said...

@Ernie Prole, let me know when UC Berkeley has an undergraduate student body that is all Asian except for white and black scholarship athletes, then perhaps I will believe you.

Big Mike said...

Sorry folks, but as a college student back in the 1960s I believed in, and demonstrated for, a color-blind America, and I still believe that this is the right way for this country to move forward. I have no intention of changing, make that "evolving" my viewpoint, particularly since I have had the benefit of working with very intelligent black scientists and software engineers, and I have seen their issues trying to be taken seriously when the going in assumption is that they must be affirmative action hires. When BarrySanders20 writes:

"Too Many Asians makes for a less-racially diverse student body, inhibits 'cross-racial understanding,' perpetuates racial stereotypes, and interferes with understanding people of different races, thereby defeating the alleged 'benefits of diversity.' "

I hear echoes of it's okay to discriminate on the basis of race so that we can avoid the appearance of discriminating on the basis of race. (Yes, Barry, I know what you mean with your comment.) I really don't care if whites and blacks and Hispanics have to up their games to prevent MIT and Cal Tech and Harvard and Yale and Princeton and the other Ivies from being 100% Asian-American except for recruited athletes.

Big Mike said...

And for the record, I have no (known) Asian ancestry.

tim in vermont said...

"some admissions officers have admitted they are less likely to select such students because they perceive them to possess radical views that won't fit well in their schools."

They are creating a caste system. Party hospitals are also on the list of coming attractions, like in Quebec.

Narayanan said...

Josephbleau said...
I think we need affirmative action for the Supreme Court. We need Justices who went to law school at Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Berkeley, and the like.
---------
I am not so sure >>> where did their teachers / mentors / exemplars go to school?

Joe Smith said...

But a lot of them are white-Asians and/or have white values, so they deserve what they get...

Joe Smith said...

Btw, most US universities have dropped SAT and ACT scores as an admissions standard.

Now they just accept students named 'Jamal' and 'Shaniqua' and keep out kids named 'Bill' and 'Chung.'

Easy...no discrimination!

Richard Dolan said...

Many good briefs were filed on the petition in the Harvard case (all available at the SCOTUS website under dkt no. 20-1199), starting with the one for petitioners. But in terms of framing the issues for the court's decision, I think one of the best was the amicus filed on behalf of Richard Sander (the UCLA law prof famous for developing the mismatch theory about how affirmative action is harmful to its intended beneficiaries) by Stuart Taylor -- https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/20/20-1199/173516/20210331135938337_20-1199%20Amicus%20Brief.pdf.

The Sander/Taylor brief quotes Ginsburg's dissent in Gratz v. Bollinger, observing: “If honesty is the best policy, surely Michigan’s accurately described, fully disclosed College
affirmative action program is preferable to achieving similar numbers through winks, nods, and disguises.” Under Bakke, Gratz and Grutter, the brief contends that "colleges and
graduate schools removed transparency from their admissions systems and institutionalized procedures that amounted to 'winks, nods, and disguises.'” That proposition would be hard to dispute in today's world. The brief then concludes that "Supreme Court doctrine on the use of racial preferences in higher education suffers from an acute 'form versus substance' problem: does the Court mean to actually restrict the use of race in admissions decisions, or does it simply want universities to hide the ball?"

The substance of the Sander/Taylor brief shows how "the record in SFFA v. Harvard poses these questions squarely." In particular, it argues that the record in the Harvard case is so exquisitely deep and detailed as to give the Court a perfect vehicle to answer four key questions of law about racial discrimination in the university admissions context with something other than airy (and in the real world, meaningless) platitudes: What is a quota? What is racial balancing? What does it mean to treat race as a 'defining feature' of an application? What does the Court mean by 'diversity'?

The UNC case (dkt no. 21-707) has the advantage of involving a public university, although the Title VI standard applicable to Harvard is the same as the constitutional one applicable to UNC. But procedurally the UNC case was decided by a district court, partly on a motion to dismiss and partly after trial, but before the resulting judgment was considered by the Fourth Circuit. The record in that case is not as detailed factually as in the Harvard case, but both present the same issues of law. Hard to imagine that the justices voting to grant cert (which required 4 votes) only to issue another mushy, platitudinous decision that doesn't actually provide some real guidance to the lower courts on the issues highlighted by the Sander/Taylor brief (whether they want it or not, and I suspect most don't).

Owen said...

Mike of Snoqualmie @ 3:05: totally agree with your point. I was distracted by "near-do-wells" which I think should be "ne'er-do-wells" as in "useless layabouts who can screw up every chance they're given."

Sorry for the pedantry...

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Mike Sylwester said...
The Federal Government should not be deciding the enrollment practices of state colleges or of private colleges.

If we're going to have laws preventing racial discrimination, then they have to be enforced against everyone.

What private and public colleges are doing is racially discriminating against Asian and "white" individuals.

Yes, it's entirely appropriate for SCOTUS to say that those organizations have to follow anti-discrimination law.

Esp so long as they're receiving Federal funds.

Which all of them are doing.

Not even counting student loans (and it was established in the 80s that student loans could be denied to people going to schools that discriminated), there's all the research funding.

But, in any event, if the Feds can tell IBM it's not allowed to discriminate based on race, and people can sue IBM for doing so, then it can also tell Harvard they can't discriminate based on race, and allow any rejected applicant to sue if they were racially discriminated against.

Sauce for the goose

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

#diversity bullshit

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Ice Nine said...
Even if the SC rules against affirmative action in these cases, it will not go away. These leftist racialist AA zealots never give up. Never. Be assured that they will come up with a workaround.

If white /. Asian males (and females) get to sue every time they are rejected by a school that accepted a black / hispanic with lower grades / SAT scores, then the policies will end.

Because then it's not a case of "we'll try this, then there will be 5 years of court battles, and we'll lose, so we'll change the policy to that..."

It will be "we'll try this. We get sued by 3,000 different individuals each year. We'll lose most of the cases, and have to pay up. Then we switch to a different policy, and get sued by 2,500 different individuals each year. Then we go bankrupt. Then the courts start allowing for college administrators to be sued personally, since it's a clear violation of civil rights."

Never give up, never surrender

Greg The Class Traitor said...

This case is going to be heard during the next term. Which means the decision will come down after the Nov elections.

So, if things continue the way they look to continue, and the Democrats get crushed in November, I believe that will impart a lot of backbone into our black robed overlords, and cause them to completely nuke the "diversity" fraud.

Esp. if CRT continues to be a winning issue for the Right

Kansas City said...

The plaintiffs should win on the merits. SCOTUS granting cert suggests there are five votes against Harvard. Two points:

1. I read that Harvard represented to court that if affirmative action not allowed, AA enrollment would drop by 50%. If they said that, it seems like an implied admission of discrimination in the present system.

2. I never understand why no politician runs on the argument of changing affirmative action based on race to affirmative action based on economic disadvantage without consideration of race. It seems like both a political winner and the right thing to do.

BarrySanders20 said...

Re: Changing affirmative action based on race to affirmative action based on economic disadvantage without consideration of race,

Then the poor kids would need a safe space. Maybe a shed out back. With a pond, not a pool.

Bender said...

SCOTUS granting cert suggests there are five votes against Harvard

It only takes four votes to grant certiorari.

Earnest Prole said...

@Ernie Prole, let me know when UC Berkeley has an undergraduate student body that is all Asian except for white and black scholarship athletes, then perhaps I will believe you.

Black enrollment at Berkeley is roughly half their proportion of the general California population. Asian enrollment is more than three times their proportion of the general California population. If there were Affirmative Action in California, wouldn’t those numbers be, you know, different?

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Kansas City said...
2. I never understand why no politician runs on the argument of changing affirmative action based on race to affirmative action based on economic disadvantage without consideration of race. It seems like both a political winner and the right thing to do.

You need to review Fisher v Texas, the most recent AA case.

University of Texas set up a plan: anyone who graduated in the top 10% of their high school class would be admitted to UT.
This was a perfectly fine and reasonable plan.

But they also decided that they wanted to have extra "affirmative action" seats to hand out, because they wanted more children of black doctors and lawyers to be admitted, even though they weren't qualified to be there.

Because "affirmative action" is about letting in the "right sort", not about actually helping people.

Besides, far too many of the "wrong sort" of "whites" would be admitted if they went based on economic disadvantage rather than skin color

Readering said...

California public universities eliminated AA by proposition in 1995. Proposition to allow AA defeated 2020. I can't remember how I voted last year. Live in Asian immigrant community that felt strongly both ways.

Mason G said...

"Then the poor kids would need a safe space. Maybe a shed out back. With a pond, not a pool."

So they've got that going for them. Which is nice.

Spiros said...

The Court should enforce colorblindness. It is what the vast majority of Americans want. We want a society that treats people as individuals and not racial types, one that values merit and egalitarianism.

Gahrie said...

Black enrollment at Berkeley is roughly half their proportion of the general California population. Asian enrollment is more than three times their proportion of the general California population. If there were Affirmative Action in California, wouldn’t those numbers be, you know, different?

Without AA, Berkley would be 99% Asian.

wishfulthinking said...

Affirmative Action and CRT are institutionalized racism.

Big Mike said...

@Ernie Prole, believe what you want to. It’s a free country. For now.

DavidUW said...

What is the proportion of black high school GRADUATES compared to the California general population?
It's 2/3.

So "roughly half" at the flagship institution where standards doesn't seem too bad.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Gahrie,

Without AA, Berk[e]ley would be 99% Asian.

I doubt it. I got into Berkeley as an out-of-state white kid without difficulty, in 1984. (Also: Princeton, Stanford, MIT.) I understand that standards are mysteriously higher now, but all the same there are a lot of excellent students -- of all races, though not in proportion to their representation in the population -- who want to go to Cal.

However, my discipline at the time -- mechanical engineering -- really was mostly Asian. Not 99%, but possibly 90%.

I then went on to graduate study in musicology at the same school. Asian representation in the Music Dept. was essentially nil.

Bruce Hayden said...

“The goo-goo liberals think affirmative action is a way to help bring equity to results. They're idiots. The elite have seized on affirmative action as a way to limit access to the top levels of society, reserving it mostly for their children. Minority kids let in without the actual capability to compete intellectually will fail or get shuffled into "whatever"-studies classes that gets the school a checkmark for graduating a minority but leaves them with a worthless degree. Those minorities that get in on merit get painted with the same brush in society. They have to throttle the Asian admissions to ensure that they have enough slots to allow non-minority, non-elite students into school to keep the obvious from becoming too obvious.

Also factored in, is that these Ivy League slots are allocated as racial spoils (to those who always get the racial spoils - the politically powerful). Black and Hispanic political leaders get their kids into schools like Harvard before most others of the same preferred demographic. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, community organizers, prominent clergy, etc get their kids in first.

Beaneater said...

I want to respond to the "OMG who wants colleges filled with Asians" line of thought that seems to be animating some admissions decisions.

During my time at college in the early 90s, I was the token white guy in our school's Asian-American Christian fellowship. I can attest that a) my brothers and sisters there were actual human beings with individual personalities, not just an undifferentiated mass of Asian stereotypes, and b) not only that, but more people like Kenny and Jason and Julia and Angela would be a massive net benefit to any school or society or nation.

The whole "that would be too many Asians" argument, spoken or unspoken, is trash.

Rollo said...

US universities went international in this century establishing campuses in places like Singapore and Dubai. Maybe it's time for some foreign universities to establish campuses here. With much luck and effort they might be able to avoid some of the toxicity of American higher education.

I am reminded of 1968 Harvard students finding much ominous significance in the fact that the university's governing body was called The Corporation. They are probably reconciled to that now, but they may not have realized how right they were.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Bruce Hayden said...
Also factored in, is that these Ivy League slots are allocated as racial spoils (to those who always get the racial spoils - the politically powerful).. Black and Hispanic political leaders get their kids into schools like Harvard before most others of the same preferred demographic. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, community organizers, prominent clergy, etc get their kids in first.

Which is what the battle in Fisher was about: UT Austin wanted the ability to give a bunch of extra "affirmative action" slots to people who were "the right sort" of "minorities", but couldn't get in under the 10% rule.

Here's hoping they nuke Fisher along with all the other trash rulings allowing racial discrimination

Stephen St. Onge said...

rehajm said...
which upheld the University of Michigan's use of race as a plus factor and served as a model for similar admissions programs nationwide

What the hell does ‘a plus factor’ even mean in this context? Weasel words intended to justify discrimination on the basis of race..
_________________

        What is means is simple.  Remember the question “If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?”  Their answer is “Five, because if we agree to call a tail a leg, that really makes it a leg.”


        It’s right there in 1984. If O’Brien believes that he levitates, and Smith believes that he levitates, then he actually levitates.  And for them, 1984 is an instruction manual, and a vision of the future they wish to impose.

Stephen St. Onge said...

Mike Sylwester said...
The Federal Government should not be deciding the enrollment practices of state colleges or of private colleges.
_______________

        Agreed.  They should be allowed to ignore the law and the Constitution, and that whole “Civil Rights Act” and the “Voting Rights Act” should never have been passed.

        Good to meet a fellow Klansman here on Althouse.*

.

*For the intelligence impaired:

Brian said...

It maintains very high admission standards because they are predictive of success in a very intense curriculum that is the basis of the brand value of the degree, which is, effectively a proxy for other qualities: intelligence, work ethic, etc.

Is that true for Harvard? I know it's the myth, but is it reality? Granted I only know of one Harvard grad personally, but she always said it was impossible to not get an A.

A quick google search shows that the median grade is an A-, with less than 5% getting a C or less (2013 numbers).

So maybe they just grab such great talent that of course they all get A's. But from the student I talked to, that wasn't the case.