The Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Michigan's Ban on Affirmative Action

The Supreme Court just agreed to rule on the 2006 Michigan Civil Rights Initiative  ­­— aka Proposal 2 ­­— the voter-approved constitutional ban on race or gender-based preferences in college admissions and government hiring.

Spearheaded by black businessman Ward Connerly, the ban sailed through by a 16-point margin ­­— despite a determined opposition that included not only neo-Trotskyite outfits such as By Any Means Necessary, universities, andCampus DivesityShamversity the Democratic Party but also the auto industry and even many Republicans.

However, its foes never gave up using, well, any means necessary to overturn it. Their big victory came last year when the 6th Circuit Court ruled against the initiative claiming that Michigan’s ban against discrimination is itself discriminatory. The court maintained that the ban violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection because it leaves minorities who want racial preferences in admissions no option but to mount a counter referendum. But students who want, say, their family connections or their socio-economic background considered can lobby the admissions committee or the university officials or the governing board. “The existence of such a comparative structural burden undermines the Equal Protection Clause’s guarantee that all citizens ought to have equal access to the tools of political change,” the court averred.

Michigan’s Attorney General Bill Schuette, however, appealed this ruling that can only be described as tortured. "Entrance to our great colleges and universities must be based upon merit, and I remain optimistic moving forward in our fight for equality, fairness and rule of law at our nation’s highest court,” he noted.

My own feelings on Michigan’s race ban are decidedly mixed. There is something odious about letting universities distribute benefits by race ­­— especially to the extent that the University of Michigan was doing before its practices were outlawed. It handed Black and Hispanic candidates 20 points just for being Black and Hispanic. By contrast, a great essay counted for only one point and a perfect SAT score, a mere 12.

That said, I’m not sure the cause of equality and merit is served by banning race preferences without simultaneously banning legacy preferences -- something that the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative studiously avoided doing. As I wrote in a 2008 Reason magazine feature:

Legacy preferences are the original sin of admissions, the policy that fundamentally compromises fair, merit-based standards. Universities can’t in good conscience tip the admission scales for the more privileged and then ask the less privileged to compete solely on merit. [E]liminating race while keeping legacies will make the admissions process less fair, not more fair, because it will open up minority slots to competition by whites but not vice versa.

The Supreme Court was already considering a challenge to the University of Texas’ race-based admissions policies that I wrote about here. By adding the Michigan lawsuit, Schuette vs. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, to its docket, it is signaling a major reckoning of this issue, regardless of which way it rules.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • John||

    The court maintained that the ban violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection because it leaves minorities who want racial preferences in admissions no option but to mount a counter referendum.

    Isn't every election a violation of equal protection then?

    The court maintained that the election of Barrack Obama violates teh guarantee of equal protection because it leaves his opponents who didn't want him elected no option but to mount another candidate in 2016.

    How does that second statement not make just as much sense as the first?

  • silent v||

    The difference is that in your example all people--regardless of race, creed, etc--have the same option: wait until 2016.

    In the Michigan example one class of people are specifically barred from lobbying for preferential treatment while others are not.

    **Not trying to defend this argument, just explaining the difference between the second statement and the first.

  • John||

    In the Michigan example one class of people are specifically barred from lobbying for preferential treatment while others are not.]

    No they are not. They can amend the Constitution back. And further, that is true of any constitutional amendment. Those who want to control the press are barred from lobbying to do so because of the 1st Amendment.

  • Almanian!||

    no option but to mount another candidate in 2016

    Althought I'm not sure about her politics, and pretty sure she's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, I would gladly mount Sarah Palin in 2016. Pretty sure she'll be just as hot.

    Also, this is why there are no libertarian women, but I don't care.

  • Zeb||

    "Pretty sure she'll be just as hot."

    I don't know if that's a good bet. She is getting to be of a certain age.

  • Almanian!||

    I'm willing to take my chances...

  • DJK||

    I think I saw her in a porno once.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    In your defense, if you could mount Sarah Palin, statistically there would be a good chance that your offspring would include an eventual libertarian woman.

  • DJK||

    Palin's a libertarian?

  • JW||

    the 6th Circuit Court ruled against the initiative claiming that Michigan’s ban against discrimination is itself discriminatory. The court maintained that the ban violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection because it leaves minorities who want racial preferences in admissions no option but to mount a counter referendum.

    Getting dizzy....

    "Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency..."

  • ||

    Not the comfy chair!

  • Almanian!||

    "Among our chief weapons are such diverse elements as: fear; surprise; RUTHLESS efficiency; and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope!"

  • John||

    Legacy preferences are the original sin of admissions, the policy that fundamentally compromises fair, merit-based standards. Universities can’t in good conscience tip the admission scales for the more privileged and then ask the less privileged to compete solely on merit. [E]liminating race while keeping legacies will make the admissions process less fair, not more fair, because it will open up minority slots to competition by whites but not vice versa.

    That is really a load of crap. They give legacy preferences because they want alumni to feel tied to the school and want to reward giving. Legacy preferences serve a perfectly legitimate function.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    They give legacy preferences because they want alumni to feel tied to the school and want to reward giving. Legacy preferences serve a perfectly legitimate function.

    That may be true, but they are still discriminatory in nature.

  • John||

    So is only letting in smart people.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    So is only letting in smart people.

    Do legacy preferences have to meet all other requirements as well? I honestly don't know. But if two people have the same scores and you take a legacy over the other, that is as discriminatory as taking a black over a white.

  • John||

    My point is that anything short of letting any 100% of those who apply is by definition discriminatory. But so what? Is it discriminatory on a legitimate basis?

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    You said that legacy preferences serve a perfectly legitimate function; I don't agree. You do not have to let in 100% of those applying in to be non-discriminatory. If you have only so many slots open, you pick those that meet the standards to fill those slots, hopefully those are the smartest, without regard to other considerations like race or legacy.

  • ||

    Or, if it were a truly private institution, they could pick whomever they want for whatever reasons they want. The end.

  • JW||

    they could pick whomever they want for whatever reasons they want.

    That ship sailed so, so long ago and was capsized by the Aggrieved and Entitled monsoon.

  • ||

    Actually, it was capsized by the weight of federally guaranteed student loans.

  • JW||

    It was a perfect storm of collectivism.

  • Hugh Akston||

    If you can't admit 100% of applicants, by definition you have to discriminate between them.

  • John||

    If you have only so many slots open, you pick those that meet the standards to fill those slots,

    Sure you could. And you would be discriminating against those who didn't meet the standards. Now "not meeting the standards" is a legitimate basis to discriminate on. But it is not the only one. I think "his parents went here and gave us millions of dollars" is a good one too.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    But it is not the only one. I think "his parents went here and gave us millions of dollars" is a good one too.

    Actually it is the only one. If one meets the standards and the other doesn't, then the one that does should get in, irrelevant of relations.

  • Zeb||

    You do not have to let in 100% of those applying in to be non-discriminatory.

    Unless you just pick them at random, it is discriminatory. It may be on the basis of intelligence, but that's discrimination too. The point is that not all discrimination is prejudiced or bad.

  • R C Dean||

    Unless you just pick them at random, it is discriminatory.

    Picking at random, of course, is arbitrary and capricious.

  • ||

    Unless you just pick them at random

    Why ya gotta hate on the congenitally unlucky and the cursed, Zeb?

  • ||

    Her point is that the decision to ban discrimination for an irrelevant reason (race) is undermined by continuing to discriminate based on an irrelevant reason (relation to alumni).

  • John||

    But relation to an alumni is not an irrelevant reason. Letting alumni kids in binds alumni to the college and gives them a reason to be active and donate. That is a totally legitimate reason to discriminate. Dalmia, as usual, fucks up the argument even though she is on the right side.

  • ||

    But relation to an alumni is not an irrelevant reason.

    It is to their success in college.

    Letting alumni kids in binds alumni to the college and gives them a reason to be active and donate.

    And letting more black kids in could do the same thing. Both would still be discriminating on something that has nothing to do with academic success.

    That is a totally legitimate reason to discriminate.

    And people think there are totally legitimate reasons to discriminate based on race.

    Dalmia, as usual, fucks up the argument even though she is on the right side.

    She got the argument exactly right. You just don't give a damn about the argument because this is a cultural issue for you. Racial discrimination = lefties, alumni-relation discrimination = righties.

  • John||

    And letting more black kids in could do the same thing

    What reason is there to believe that? That doesn't make any sense. Telling people "if you go here and contribute your kid will get a leg up in admissions" certainly would make people more likely to donate and that is a legitimate concern for colleges. But why would letting black people make people any more or less likely to donate?

    No. I totally give a shit about the argument. Dalmia like always is wrong. Discriminating on the basis of race has been illegal in this country for 60 years. Discriminating on the basis of financial contributions is totally legit.

    Dalmia misses the argument completely. The point is not that colleges have to be a perfect meritocracy. They are not and never will be. The point is that no public institution can discriminate and make decisions based on race. That is what is wrong here. And the existence of legacy admissions has nothing to do with it. It is just red hearing.

  • John||

    red herring.

  • ||

    Oh? Black alumni and black organizations aren't more likely to donate money to a college that has racial admission preferences?

    Bullshit. This is entirely cultural for you John. Racial preferences of this manner are a lefty thing, and legacy preferences aren't, therefore you want them protected.

    Dalmia is absolutely correct that protecting admission preferences that have nothing to do with academic success undermine the goal of getting rid of an admission preference that has nothing to do with academic success.

  • John||

    Dalmia is absolutely correct that protecting admission preferences that have nothing to do with academic success undermine the goal of getting rid of an admission preference that has nothing to do with academic success.

    Then they are a bad idea. So what? Women's studies departments are a bad idea. There are lots of bad ideas. But the existence of bad ideas doesn't make discriminating on the basis of race legal. One has nothing to do with the other. To link legacies with AA is just to get people all hyped up about the KULTURE WAR and to make sloppy and stupid arguments.

  • Randian||

    I happen to think you're both right, but John moreso. There is no need to link racial discrimination and legacies, and there is no reason to hold ending the former hostage because the latter hasn't ended yet.

    They're unrelated in the current discussion, so shoehorning them together is wrong.

  • sgs||

    "It is to their success in college."

    Which, amazingly enough, isn't the only consideration a college uses.

    More to the point, you're flat wrong. Legacies are watched. Claiming that the son of a multi-million dollar donator doesn't have his college success influenced by said donation is difficult to believe.

  • Rhywun||

    I think that depends on whether my taxes are paying for some legacy layabout to party for four years. If not, then I agree.

  • ||

    Yeah, if it's a private institution it should be able to discriminate however it wants, racial or legacy or whatever. If it's public, it better the hell not be doing that, I don't want my tax money getting Bubba Jr. a free pass because of his dad.

  • John||

    If it's public, it better the hell not be doing that, I don't want my tax money getting Bubba Jr. a free pass because of his dad.

    You confuse "I don't like that" with "this is illegal and unconstitutional". There is nothing illegal or unconstitutional about legacy admissions. They may be a bad idea but their existence is irrelevant to affirmative action. Affirmative action discriminates based on race and that is illegal and unconstitutional. Big difference.

    There is nothing in the Constitution that says public schools must be a perfect meritocracy. But there sure as hell is something that says they can't discriminate based on race.

  • ||

    I didn't say it was illegal and unconstitutional. I said it has nothing to do with academic success and undermines the idea that we shouldn't discriminate based on something that has nothing to do with academic success (race).

  • John||

    I didn't say it was illegal and unconstitutional.

    Then what does their existence have to do with affirmative action? Nothing. We can debate the value of legacy admissions forever. Who knows who is right. But regardless of who wins that argument, discriminating based on race will never be any more or less desirable.

  • ||

    Their existence rubs against the public arguments used against affirmative action, for one. It's hard to get the law behind you before you get the people behind you. The political sector is always a lagging indicator.

    Plus, and I wish it wasn't this way, part of the legal argument against the affirmative action ban uses the legacy preferences to argue that the 14th Amendment is being violated. You and I know that's dumb, but one court has already bought the argument. The chances of getting that decision reversed would be a lot better without legacy preferences.

  • sgs||

    "I said it has nothing to do with academic success "

    And you're wrong. I can't for the life of me imagine how a person could think being the son or daughter of a high profile donator has "nothing to do with academic success".

    Are you really that naive?

  • ||

    Are you really referencing that wealth might illegitimately influence academic success as a defense of legacy preferences? If so, you're a moron. If not, there's no point in bringing it up.

  • sgs||

    "If it's public, it better the hell not be doing that,"

    Even if, in doing so, it cuts operational cost and saves you money, while only using legacy status to differentiate between two similarly qualified people?

    tune change in 3...2...1...

  • ||

    0.... Nope, no status change, asshole.

    First, if you make a claim like that you better be able to back it up, dickweed.

    Second, the idea that shafting some people who are up to par for a college in favor of someone who's primary "virtue" is being related to an alumni, sickens me. I guess moral consistency is lost on some people, asswipe.

  • Enough About Palin||

    "I think that depends on whether my taxes are paying for some legacy layabout to party for four years. If not, then I agree."

    Why do you hate Michelle Obama?

  • Rhywun||

    I don't hate her. I'm just afraid of her.

  • John||

    Droids don't rip people's arms out of their sockets when they don't get into Princeton.

  • ||

    Is that you bitterly cling to your guns?

  • Zeb||

    I would bet that most of the legacy students are paying the full ticket price (well their parents are).

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I would bet that most of the legacy students are paying the full ticket price

    Isn't that the whole point of the legacy preference? To get students with more money than brains?

  • JW||

    Hoover: Kent is a legacy, Otter. His brother was a '59, Fred Dorfman.
    Flounder: He said legacies usually get asked to pledge automatically.
    Otter: Oh, well, usually. Unless the pledge in question turns out to be a real closet-case.
    Otter, Boon: Like Fred.

  • Brett L||

    Wait, so how long has UM and MSU been admitting blacks? I know for certain sure that a guy I went to HS with in the late 90s who happened to be black went to MSU as a legacy student. I assume his sons would be able to as well.

  • Sevo||

    ..."ban against discrimination is itself discriminatory."...
    A court made that claim. The stupidity is astounding.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Somebody's reading 1984 as an instruction manual.

  • Aresen||

    Their big victory came last year when the 6th Circuit Court ruled against the initiative claiming that Michigan’s ban against discrimination is itself discriminatory. The court maintained that the ban violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection because it leaves minorities who want racial preferences in admissions no option but to mount a counter referendum. But students who want, say, their family connections or their socio-economic background considered can lobby the admissions committee or the university officials or the governing board. “The existence of such a comparative structural burden undermines the Equal Protection Clause’s guarantee that all citizens ought to have equal access to the tools of political change,” the court averred.

    I really find it difficult to parse that, but it seems to mean that it discriminates in favor of those who know how to use a phone.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    My greatest law school accomplishment was helping my buddy knock-off the By Any Means Necessary candidate through a write-in campaign. He won by one vote, which was cast on an iPhone over long island iced teas at Ann Arbor's finest, The Brown Jug, five minutes before midnight of the last day, and we made sure everyone knew.

  • ||

    What the fuck is By Any Means Necessary? It sounds vaguely sinister, like some sort of outfit whose chief weapon is fear and surprise.

  • ||

    I think it has something to do with your mom.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    It's a saying made famous by Malcolm X. In other words, you are correct.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    At Michigan, it's a group that advocates getting rid of Prop 2, as well as a bunch of other race issues. They run candidates in all the LSA elections, and usually lose. Their platform includes passing through proposals that condemn Israel because, you know, great international policy starts with a student government no-one takes seriously.

  • JW||

    Are they suggesting that we should try to get rid of them by any means necessary?

  • SugarFree||

    I was not the one to invent lies: they were created in a society divided by class and each of us inherited lies when we were born. It is not by refusing to lie that we will abolish lies: it is by eradicating class by any means necessary.

    —Jean Paul Sartre, Dirty Hands: act 5, scene 3. 1963

  • SugarFree||

    It looks a lot like The Onion, but the stories aren't ha-ha funny.

  • ||

    Red shirts. How unmeaningful.

  • SugarFree||

    Wear red when your are on your period. It's nothing to be ashamed of. You are a goddess, Warty.

  • Aresen||

    Well, we could have them beam down to the planet with Kirk.

  • ||

    I like their url

    Bamm!

  • ||

    "Build the Movement to win FULL CITIZENSHIP RIGHTS FOR ALL”

    I was all excited they might be radical enough to be in favor of a totally open border or something, but no. They want an amnesty to take pressure off the existing shitty system. How lame.

  • ||

    Well that's not full citizenship rights for all, now is it?

  • ||

    Tired Republican policy from my childhood ≠ radical or interesting.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Here you go.

    BAMN was originally formed in 1995 to oppose the July 20, 1995 decision by Regents of the University of California to ban affirmative action. In 1997, BAMN expanded to Michigan, where it organized student support for the affirmative action policy of the University of Michigan Law School at Ann Arbor (UMLS) as a result of a challenge to that policy via Grutter v. Bollinger. In Grutter, decided in 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of universities to consider race as one factor in a holistic, individualized admissions process. The majority opinion by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor stated: "Effective participation by members of all racial and ethnic groups in the civic life of our Nation is essential if the dream of one Nation, indivisible, is to be realized."
  • Almanian!||

    the dream of one Nation, indivisible

    I keep forgetting about this clause in the Constitution.

  • Sidd Finch||

  • ||

    Is it pronounced like "damn", or is it "bam-unh"? I hope it's the latter.

  • Almanian!||

    When you say it out loud, it sounds like "SHUT THE FUCK UP, ASSHOLES."

  • $park¥||

    Looks more like bam-nuh to me.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Apparently they only speak in unoriginal chants so ... "damn"?

  • Enough About Palin||

    It's pronounced BA Minnesota.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Bammin'.

  • ||

    BAMN!

    You forgot the exclamation mark, you can't have a good sound effect without it.

  • SugarFree||

    Futurist percussive poetry is built on the exclamation mark.

    Ram dam twelve!
    Sizzle mop!
    Crunch down!
    Safety net!
    hot-hot-hot
    void

  • ||

    I wonder what lefty backronyms you can get out those?

  • Almanian!||

    Vocational Occupations Instruction Dept (VOID)

  • Broseph of Invention||

    I pronounce it to rhyme with how the Firebat says "Slammin'" in the original Starcraft.

  • Enough About Palin||

    "It sounds vaguely sinister, like some sort of outfit whose chief weapon is fear and surprise."

    You left out ruthless efficiency.

  • John||

    Here is the thing about affirmative action. Under a strict meritocracy lots more Asians and white kids get in. And a lot of those kids will be poor or middle class. When you have affirmative action, you screw those kids to let in black kids who primarily will come from wealthy backgrounds. So what it affirmative action is really doing is having rich white people make sure that there snowflakes don't have to share a campus with undesirable white people and Asians.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    That's what the dumbasses at Texas Law studiously avoided addressing. The son of a Hispanic millionaire gets preference over a white man who is the first in his family to go to college, let alone graduate school. Affirmative action, for the most part, helped the less capable offspring of minorities at the expense of poorer whites. In the name of equality and diversity.

  • $park¥||

    They can't help it that the white kid has an easier life and doesn't know what it's like to be a minority. He should just check his privilege and get over it. It's not like he'll have trouble finding a job and rising to the top once he gets there.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    I knew one black girl that was adopted by white parents, and whose skin was only slightly darker than mine (although you could tell she was adopted if you'd met the parents). On top of that, she was hot. I couldn't have made up a recipe for a more spoiled and privileged person if I tried, although she turned out to be a lovely person against the odds.

  • Almanian!||

    Race? Sex? The gummint has all KINDA shit in place to discriminate - therefore, I voted for the MI law in 2006. Cause I don't support GOVERNMENT discrimination. And that's what was in place in Michigan that was voted on in 2006 - ending overt discrimination on the basis of race/sex at govt colleges.

    "Legacies" - different issue, and I'll bite and say I'd support ending that, too. However, that's not what's at issue - it's sex/race preferences - and those don't belong in our LAWS and government policies/agencies. So get 'em the fuck out - we can talk about "legacies" in the next law.

    Anyway, given the court's "reasoning" in the Obamacare Penaltax Ass Raping of 2012, I will be pleasantly surprised if they court votes to either not pass judgment on the Michigan law or actually upholds it. If they strike it down....well, that's what I expect from this government. Saves me a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth....

    /low expectations

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Race? Sex? The gummint has all KINDA shit in place to discriminate

    That does sound like Justice Roberts' reasoning for the penaltax.

  • Almanian!||

    That's the point - it's the government that was discriminating on the basis of race and sex in this case. And the government should not be allowed to do that.

    So the law had to be passed, cause the (public) schools wouldn't do it voluntarily.

    But I fully expect "penaltax logic", partly for the reason you note, but also because FUCK YOU THAT'S WHY is SOP any more.

  • $park¥||

    Last night my wife and I were watching TV and the ad for Tyler Perry's newest "black folk" (I call them that because the entire cast is black and it's made for black viewers) movie came on. After the commercial was over, I looked at her and asked "why can't people just be people?" Then Celebrity Apprentice came on and the black model announced that she was trying to win money for the Black College charity and that was all it took to answer my question.

  • Enough About Palin||

    It cuts a lot of ways. A couple of weeks back, two guys were shot dead at an after-hours tippling house about three blocks from my house. Keep in mind that this was a pretty small, north Minneapolis, corner storefront of a building and it had something like 200+ people in there drinking at 3:30 am. It was ripe for a shooting.

    The next week there was a large crowd outside the building with signs that read "Stop the Killing" and all I could think of was it would be better if the signs had read, "Stop Living Black Stereotypes".

  • Almanian!||

    "Stop Living Black Stereotypes".

    Yep. Preach on, Brother Enough.

  • Enough About Palin||

    I'm not kidding. Yesterday, I saw a kid about 7-years-old and he was having great difficulty riding his bicycle because at the same time he was riding, he also had to be sagging his pants. It was at once funny, sad and prophetic.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    You want them to add a couple of token white people? Maybe a Hispanic and an Asian to round things out?

  • $park¥||

    Not a bad idea. Maybe someone should bring a suit against Perry for race discrimination.

    I think it's idiotic to assign Eternally Aggrieved status to a group of people who fight tooth and nail to remain Eternally Aggrieved.

  • Almanian!||

    Still the best statement on diversity, ever. Mr. Watt, who's on your staff?

    "A black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple..."

    Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

  • John Galt||

    Affirmative Action: because Racism and Sexism are Awesome!

  • OldMexican||

    There is something odious about letting universities distribute benefits by race.


    They can very well do whatever the fuck they want, as long as they do it with their own fucking money.

    That said, I'm not sure the cause of equality and merit is served by banning race preferences without simultaneously banning legacy preferences -- something that the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative studiously avoided doing.


    Again, these universities should be allowed to do whatever the fuck they want.

    Let's not beat around the bush. The reason these cases should be heard and decided by the Supreme Court is because universities do NOT get to do whatever the fuck they want. If they accepted only Asian students because of their higher proficiency, you would have all sorts of activist and pressure groups picketing on their front doors; if the case is deciced by the SCOTUS in favor of ending the quotas, there would be pretty much nothing else these groups could do that is both legal and valid.

  • Rhywun||

    They can very well do whatever the fuck they want, as long as they do it with their own fucking money.

    Except they ALL take public money, except maybe online outfits - who would be crazy not to let anyone in anyway.

  • Knoss||

    I think legacy has to be ended. My problem with racial preference is that it combined with legacy preference gives a large boost to a few privileged minorities, does little to help disadvantaged minorities and ignores disadvantaged white students.

  • John||

    As I said above, the full effect of affirmative action is to make sure that the children of the elite don't have to go to school with middle and under class whites.

  • R C Dean||

    Count on Reason to write an article on a referendum without giving us the text. FYI, the key language is:

    shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin

    I eagerly await the SCOTUS ruling that this is discriminatory.

  • Almanian!||

    YEah, I remember when the law was on the ballot, thinking, "I can't wait to hear those against this tell us what's wrong with it...."

    I thought it was a beautifully-written ballot proposal.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "[E]liminating race while keeping legacies will make the admissions process less fair, not more fair, because it will open up minority slots to competition by whites but not vice versa."

    Bullshit.

    The law specifically prohibits race based admissions. What are still allowed are preferences based on other categories, potentially open to people of any race. It may be true that more whites can are in those categories, but that does *not* mean that those are "white slots", because many whites can't get into them either.

    Whites without wealth, connections, or power are routinely treated as if they are the Evil White Oppressor Overlords. They are not. They often live in minority communities as the oppressed and hated minority, only to be told by the faculty club that they shouldn't have a chance at life because they were born looking like The Man.

    Get rid of the "legacy" preferences. Great. They should be removed. If I were in Michigan, I'd support a ban on those as well. But stop talking about poor whites as if they're Mitt's kids.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Why do legacy preferences get such hatred? Under their real name they're very common in many venues.

    Legacy preferences are brand loyalty reward programs. They work the same way as those little cards that supermarkets scan work. Some discounts, preferred coupons, maybe some side benefits, like gas rewards, all for getting you to spend your money with them.

    And that's how lagacy preferences work--a few fancy alumni dinners, some networking possibilities, and preferred admissions...all to get you to spend your money with them.

    Same exact principle. So what's the problem?

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement