April 23, 2014
Should Courts Stay Out of the Race Business?

Does anybody else think it could be a problem to put the question of minority rights to a majority vote in state initiatives?
Six justices of the Court don’t—and three of them actually think we’d all be better off if we got courts out of this whole race business and let majority vote settle the whole thing.
The three-justice plurality—Justice Anthony Kennedy, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justice Samuel Alito—made this strange suggestion Tuesday in their opinion on Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigration Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary. Schuette should have been an easy case, and I very much fear it will soon make very bad law. 
Read more. [Image: Molly Riley/Reuters]

Should Courts Stay Out of the Race Business?

Does anybody else think it could be a problem to put the question of minority rights to a majority vote in state initiatives?

Six justices of the Court don’t—and three of them actually think we’d all be better off if we got courts out of this whole race business and let majority vote settle the whole thing.

The three-justice plurality—Justice Anthony Kennedy, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justice Samuel Alito—made this strange suggestion Tuesday in their opinion on Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigration Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary. Schuette should have been an easy case, and I very much fear it will soon make very bad law.

Read more. [Image: Molly Riley/Reuters]

October 16, 2013
On Affirmative Action, the Court Tackles a Deceptively Simple Question

You could say that the whole point of something like the Equal Protection Clause is to take race off the table,” Chief Justice John Roberts mused from the bench yesterday.
Many Americans believe just that—that the central command of the Equal Protection Clause is to produce a system where race doesn’t matter and we don’t have to think about it.
Many other Americans, however, believe that the point of the Clause—of the whole Fourteenth Amendment, in fact—is to bring about real equality, not as goal or a motto but as a fact. And if government has to take account of race to do that, so be it.
Both groups contain people of good will. And neither group can understand a word the other says.
The gap was on display Tuesday at the Supreme Court, when the justices heard argument in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. Schuette asks a deceptively simple question: Can the people of a state, by majority vote, make it unlawful for colleges and universities to use race-based affirmative action in admissions—which is perfectly legal under the Constitution?
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

On Affirmative Action, the Court Tackles a Deceptively Simple Question

You could say that the whole point of something like the Equal Protection Clause is to take race off the table,” Chief Justice John Roberts mused from the bench yesterday.

Many Americans believe just that—that the central command of the Equal Protection Clause is to produce a system where race doesn’t matter and we don’t have to think about it.

Many other Americans, however, believe that the point of the Clause—of the whole Fourteenth Amendment, in fact—is to bring about real equality, not as goal or a motto but as a fact. And if government has to take account of race to do that, so be it.

Both groups contain people of good will. And neither group can understand a word the other says.

The gap was on display Tuesday at the Supreme Court, when the justices heard argument in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. Schuette asks a deceptively simple question: Can the people of a state, by majority vote, make it unlawful for colleges and universities to use race-based affirmative action in admissions—which is perfectly legal under the Constitution?

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

January 23, 2013

How America’s Top Colleges Reflect (and Massively Distort) the Country’s Racial Evolution

[Images: National Center for Education Statistics]

October 11, 2012
The Impossibility of Race-Blind Admissions

Growing up on a farm and running for student body are character-building experiences that deserve a place on college applications. So is being a person of color in America.

Read more. [Image: Pacific Standard]

The Impossibility of Race-Blind Admissions

Growing up on a farm and running for student body are character-building experiences that deserve a place on college applications. So is being a person of color in America.

Read more. [Image: Pacific Standard]

August 29, 2012
"No one wonders what advantages accrued to Mitt Romney, a man who spent his early life ensconced in the preserve of malignant and absolutist affirmative action that was metropolitan Detroit. Romney’s Detroit (like most of the country) prohibited black people from the best jobs, the best schools, the best neighborhoods, and the best of everything else. The exclusive Detroit Golf Club, a short walk from one of Romney’s childhood homes, didn’t integrate until 1986. No one is skeptical of Mitt Romney because of the broader systemic advantages he enjoyed, advantages erected largely to ensure that this country would ever be run by men who looked like him."

Ta-Nehisi Coates, on the myth of an affirmative-action president.

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