Supreme Court

Affirmative Action Heading Back to Supreme Court?

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The Washington Post's Robert Barnes reports on two likely candidates for the Supreme Court's next major ruling on affirmative action:

One is from Texas, where a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld a race-conscious admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin. An attempt to have the entire circuit hear the case failed 9 to 7, and dissenters practically invited the Supreme Court to step in.

The other is from Michigan, where voters in 2006 passed a constitutional amendment to forbid the state's public colleges and universities from granting "preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin."

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled 2 to 1 that the amendment violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment because it restructures the state's political structure to the detriment of minorities.

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  1. A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled 2 to 1 that the amendment violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment because it restructures the state’s political structure to the detriment of minorities.

    The failure to discriminate on the basis of race discriminates on the basis of race!

    Seriously, if logic that specious is granted credence by our courts, then there is no claim too absurd for me to support it any more.

    1. Women and minorities hit hardest!

    2. We truly are fucked aren’t we? I guess the living constitution really can make you justify anything.

      1. I forget who said it, but the next time a liberal mentions the ‘living’ Constitution, ask them to play a game of living poker.

    3. WHAT WHAT WHAT
      How can non discrimanation be discrimination!!!
      WHat WHat WHat

      1. Weeeelllllllll…..

        1. Don’t start it!

  2. forbid the state’s public colleges and universities from granting “preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.”

    This being Michigan, they didn’t need to include “intelligence” in the criteria as that policy is already being observed.

    1. Hey!

  3. I think the Michigan decision is pretty much a ruling that the 14th Amendment violates the 14th Amendment.

    1. Any means that are necessary are also warranted to repudiate O’Connor’s “AA-is-constitutional-now-but-won’t-be-in-25-years”

    2. Also, it indicates that Asians aren’t minorities.

      1. Hell, there’s like 4 Billion of them.

      2. Laycist!

      3. Nah. Anyone who tests higher than white people on standardized admissions test is obviously just white.

        1. twinkies

    3. This ^^^ (@ R C Dean)

    4. It’s actually pretty brilliant, since the paradox invalidates the entire Constitution.

  4. It is racist to assume that blacks can get the same test results as whites or Asians. On average blacks just aren’t as smart, and they need special considerations in order to achieve equal outcomes.
    Anyone who argues otherwise is racist.

    1. Hey! You shouldn’t be allowed to write that. Or think it.

      1. I’m not sure if I shouldn’t be allowed to think that, or am required to think that.

        1. It’s racist to even think about the possibility that members of some race have lower average intelligence. Its heresy. Also race is imaginary and there are no differences (except visible ones and if you notice them your are racist) and you are racist for thinking that. Your are also racist for not condemning anyone who thinks there are differences in average intelligence.

          1. Considering how frequently bigots try to disguise their bigotry as Just Asking Questions?, the visceral reaction such hypotheses get is understandable. That’s an extraordinary claim that demands extraordinary proof.

            There’s also the inconvenient fact that intelligence itself is not a well-defined concept, so any attempt to rigorously test a hypothesis about intelligence is doomed from the beginning.

        2. Anyone remember the Andy Richter show. Classic episode where he got in trouble for telling an Irish joke, and his Irish co-worker, a black guy, but really he’s Irish, complained.

          Andy ends up learning that we are to all celebrate and ignore all the things that make us different and the same….

        3. “I’m not sure if I shouldn’t be allowed to think that, or am required to think that.”

          This happens to people in MA all the time.

  5. I have nothing intelligent to add.

    1. You’re in good company. Neither did the 6th Circuit.

  6. I think I just died a lot inside at how colossally, unbelievably, skull-fuckingly retarded the ruling on the amendment is.

    Is this for real, or an Onion article? Seriously?

  7. U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld a race-conscious admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin

    Great, let Rachel Maddow know that Rand Paul’s White Toast Diner is back in business!

    1. Awesome. So after getting positively thumped in the law school a decade and a half ago, UT’s main campus ignores the state policy and goes back to the policy that got tossed out. Its like these little admin drones can’t fucking help themselves.

  8. forbid… from granting “preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.”

    the 6th Circuit ruled 2 to 1 that the amendment violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment because it restructures the state’s political structure to the detriment of minorities.

    So NOT restructuring the state’s political structure to the detriment of minorities can only be achieved by granting preferential treatment to minorities. In other words, minorities are incapable of advancing politically or academically WITHOUT preferential treatment. There is a word for those who believe that race is inherent factor in determining the abilities of a person, what is that word again?

    1. I know the word is not racist.

      Because it is the racists who would repeal laws that mandate people be treated differently based upon race.

      The word you are looking for must be egalitarian.

      For it is the egalitarians who insist that different standards be applied to people based upon their race.

      1. STOP!!!! YOU’RE TEARING APART THE FABRIC OF SPACE TIME.

        1. Relax, the destruction will be merely limited to our own galaxy.

          1. *whew*

            carry on then.

  9. Gotta love white conservatives claiming they get to decide when racial inequity has been solved.

    1. “We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today,” Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote for the majority in Grutter v. Bollinger .

      White conservatives?

      1. “White conservatives?”

        He means “Politicians”. It’s a common slip when you’re an unabashed partisan.

    2. Hell is downwards — pack your shit and get going, asshole.

    3. white conservatives

      What effect does their skin color or political persuasion have on their ability to judge the state of equality under law? Would an overweight, moderate, Asian woman have more astute insight because of her weight, politics, ethnicity?

      when racial inequity has been solved

      I suppose it would be solved whenever the state fails to discriminate based on race.

      1. Would an overweight, moderate, Asian woman have more astute insight

        Wise. Latinas.

    4. The text of the 14th Amendment makes the question of the “solving” of “unequity” irrelevant to the question at hand.

      Hey, maybe there’s a lot of inequity out there. Too bad that states can’t discriminate on the basis of race in the provision of services while trying to fix that. Oh well.

    5. No one claimed to be able to decide when race inequity has been solved.

    6. “Gotta love white conservatives claiming they get to decide when racial inequity has been solved.”
      Gotta love shithead’s inability to read.

    7. Better to let the beneficiaries of AA decide when “equity” has been achieved, right? That should be any century now, I suppose.

    8. In respect of civil rights common to all citizens, the Constitution of the United States does not, I think, permit any public authority to know the race of those entitled to be protected in the enjoyment of such rights. Every true man has pride of race, and, under appropriate circumstances, when the rights of others, his equals before the law, are not to be affected, it is his privilege to express such pride and to take such action based upon it as to him seems proper. But I deny that any legislative body or judicial tribunal may have regard to the race of citizens when the civil rights of those citizens are involved. Indeed, such legislation as that here in question is inconsistent not only with that equality of rights which pertains to citizenship, National and State, but with the personal liberty enjoyed by everyone within the United States.

      Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, 554-55 (1896) (Harlan, J., dissenting).

  10. Hmm. Black is white after all. Or up is down, take your pick.

  11. I suppose you Constitutional purists think just 3/5ths of Michigan’s entire minority population should be guaranteed admittance to higher education.

    1. Why should a person’s heritage even be known when applying for college? If you’ve got the grades and your check clears, you’re in.

      1. Eh. This may work in Montana. Flagship state university campuses (Ann Arbor and Austin being two of the very largest undergrad campuses in the US) have maybe 7000-10000 Fall semester freshman slots. UT had 31000 freshmen applicants in 2009. They have a top-10% automatic acceptance limit as of Fall 2011 that limits the auto-enrollment by people in the top 10% of their class to 75% of the freshman slots. In 2009, there were something like 7500 freshmen. That means that there are 1800 slots for people who aren’t in the top 10% of their class at that campus.

        1. Um…take the next 2%?

          1. Next 1% plus the best 1% at football.

          2. UT and A&M both, IIRC, wanted some wiggle room from the top 10% rule so they could bring in a more diverse freshman class instead of just the top 10%.

            1. Lets say there are 7500 slots for freshman. Want more than just top 10%? Take top 20,000 applicants.

              Put in hat. Draw 7500 out at random. Accept them.

              You should get the racial characteristics of the top 25% or whatever, instead of top 10%.

              1. Not good enough? Put all 31000 applicants in a hat, draw 7500 out. Of course, your standards just dropped dramatically, so less (or more) are going to apply in future.

              2. Actually, they usually accept about 14000 students. I mean, the top 10% of my brother’s class would have been 110 students from one Houston area high school. I’m not arguing for or against the top 10% rule. Only pointing out that their guess is that they will only get to the top 8% before slots fill.

            2. I would think the 10% rule was implemented to have that effect already. As the kids from the “good” schools get rejected in favor of inner city kids as the top of classes that weren’t taught anything and bomb the standardized tests.

    2. 0/5ths of the entire Earth’s population should be guaranteed admittance to higher education.

      1. WE ARE COMPETING WITH THE CHINESE. Do you want a diploma gap?

        1. we need to teach our kids to cheat harder. Oh wait.

  12. The Sixth Circuit is getting to be as bad, if not worse, than the Ninth. IIRC, the Sixth has received the most summary reversals. When the SCOTUS summarily reverses you, you have a problem.

  13. The Michigan decision is even worse than it appears on its face. The ruling essentially argued that it violated the 14th amendment because it would be too hard for minorities to get a ballot initiative passed to repeal the new policy.

    1. That’s amazing. Do they really think we’re that stupid? This stuff doesn’t even pass the giggle test of absurdity. Are they even trying anymore? I guess they know it comes down to getting leftist judges who agree, and a biased media to lie about it. Common sense is gone.

  14. Until race is no longer considered in our laws, we will be violating the equal protection clause.

  15. Shorter 6th Circuit:

    STOP RESISTING!

  16. The side benefit is that I will be actively trying to miscegenate *just so my kids can check the “white” box on those ethnicity forms*. Not that I wasn’t trying anyway.

    1. or black (although with a lower likelihood, based on empirical dating history)

      1. My wife is Chinese, and we frequently debate how to instruct our children on filling out those forms.

        1. you should do an experiment. Apply to ten colleges. Put Asian on five, and white on the other five. See what happens.

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