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jeff house
Babbler # 518

posted 24 June 2003 10:44 AM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Even the reactionary US Surpeme Court has now decided that race may be a factor in determining college admissions.

In affirming the main justification for Justice Powell's position that white students benefit educationally from the presence on campus of a "critical mass" of nonwhites, and vice versa Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, writing for the majority yesterday, took pains to assure admissions officers that their instincts for what was educationally appropriate were, in most instances, protected by law.

"Cross-racial understanding," Justice O'Connor wrote, borrowing language from a lower court ruling, "helps to break down racial stereotypes" and better prepares graduates for the working world.

She added, "The law school's educational judgment that such diversity is essential to its educational mission is one to which we defer.

From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 478

posted 24 June 2003 11:54 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
jeff, I came away from the Grope article this a.m. most confused. There seemed to be two decisions having to do with U of Michigan -- this was one, but then O'Connor went the other way on the other one -- yes/no? The law school was ok, but undergrad admissions weren't? Or something like that? The story was most confusingly written.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 3655

posted 24 June 2003 12:11 PM      Profile for 4t2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
One decision was regarding a more flexible scheme - that was the one with the law school. This was upheld 5-4 (Stevens, O'Connor, Souter, Ginsberg, Breyer). The other dealt with a more rigid/mathematical system, it was used for undergrad applications. This was struck down 6-3 (Rehnquist, O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas - and Breyer, although he didn't join the main opinion).

However the 'spin' from the US newspapers, at least, is that this is active affirmation of affirmative action (sorry, couldn't help it). There was a real concern that the Bakke precedent (the highly confusing original case regarding use of race in admissions) would be distinguished or struck down - instead there are fairly clear lines established, which are basically that automatic systems (the rhetorical successors of 'quotas') are out but flexible systems (incorporating factors in a 'holistic' fashion) are still in.

Gratz (the undergrad case)

Grutter (law school case)

A Win For Affirmative Action (New York Times editorial)
Affirmative Action For Diversity Is Upheld (Washington Post front page)
After 25 Years, A Road Map For Diversity On Campus

The original Bakke decision can be found here. Read at your peril. I tried to get the hang of this in first year constitutional law 2 years ago and it's a right mess. Four judges said "no" to the program; four said "yes". Justice Powell said "yes and no" - so there was a hazy majority of five for the point that the particular program was unconstitutional, and a hazy majority of five that the principle of race as a factor among many was constitutional. The student that challenged the program was admitted. And for the next 25 years students around the world cursed his name as we tried to figure out what the decision meant. It didn't help that subsequent cases on affirmative action went back and forth - one was even effectively overturned within a few years, due in large part to the change in the makeup of the court!

[ 24 June 2003: Message edited by: 4t2 ]

[ 24 June 2003: Message edited by: 4t2 ]

From: Beyond the familiar... | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 1234

posted 24 June 2003 12:24 PM      Profile for NDB     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And thus beings the battle to put an anti-affirmative action justice on the Supreme Court:

Angry Groups Seeking a Justice Against Affirmative Action

So let me get this straight, to be a Bush appointee to the Supreme Court, you have to be against affirmative action, abortion, democracy, government, free speech that criticizes Bush, them, terrorists, A-rabs (unless Saudi), what else? Presumably sunshine and puppy dogs too, although, the sun does pull itself up by its bootstraps everyday and get up in the morning to go to work.

[ 24 June 2003: Message edited by: NDB ]

From: Ottawa | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 3336

posted 24 June 2003 12:46 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
that's about right.
From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Black Dog
Babbler # 2776

posted 24 June 2003 04:05 PM      Profile for Black Dog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just a question: are the same groups seeking put an end to the use of race as a factor in college admissions also trying to get rid of legacy-based admissions too?

Ah, I didn't think so.

From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged

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