Supreme Court

Affirmative Action and the Supreme Court


In its upcoming October 2012 term, the Supreme Court will consider the case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. At issue is whether or not this public university violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by using race as a factor in deciding undergraduate admissions. At The New Yorker, liberal legal writer Jeffrey Toobin, a supporter of affirmative action and other race-conscious government policies, has an interesting preview of the case. What's perhaps most notable is the fact that Toobin thinks the Texas policy—and possibly even affirmative action itself—may be in real jeopardy. He writes:

The Texas case only concerns admissions practices at public universities, but based on past practices, the courts will likely apply the resulting ruling at private schools as well. The case will also not deal directly with affirmative action in the workplace, but, again, the same standards will likely be applied in that context. The great national experiment with affirmative action began in the Johnson Administration, thrived in the Nixon years, and has survived, embattled but enduring, ever since. We may now be in its final chapter.

In a way, it would not be surprising if the Court sent affirmative action to its doom. No figure in public life, including President Obama, has made a full-throated defense of the practice in years. On an aggressively conservative Court like the current one, that relative silence could well be seen as an invitation to dismantle the practice.

Read the rest here. Shikha Dalmia discussed the Fisher case in a recent column.

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  1. Aggressively conservative?

    1. They somehow read “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” to mean “you can’t stop people from buying guns”. Clearly they’re ideologues.

      1. Exactly. 4/9 of the Court was of the opinion that the 2nd amendment was meaningless, even when applied to the federal govt.

      2. They also had the unmitigated gall to question whether or not the Commerce Clause authorizes Congress to force every individual American to buy something specific from a selection of private vendors.

        And even the “liberal” ones thought that individuals should have the right to their day in court, rather than being completely subject to the whims of the EPA. Some liberals they are!

    2. My thoughts as well.


      1. Soylent Green is corporations!

        1. reductio ad crapo

          1. Huh, orrin just summed up his own arguments.

      2. No, people made corporations. And corporations are taxpayers, just like individuals. Therefore, corporations have just as much right as anyone else to lobby for and support or oppose any efforts they see as beneficial/detrimental to their business. Otherwise, do away with the corporate income tax.

    4. Yeah, that was my first thought. Aggressively conservative compared to Michael Moore?

      1. They are aggressively opinionated! Every damned one of those justices hands down opinion after opinion, like they’re something special. It’s like they think they’re a branch of the Federal Government or something.

        Tar and feathers for the Supreme Court!

        1. Co-equal, even!

          1. Some branches are more equal than others. 1 leader good, 9 leaders bad.

    5. Magically delicious?

  2. Great national experiment?

    1. That stood out to me too. Fuck you very much but my life isn’t an experiment of the government.

    2. I thought representative democracy was the great national experiment.

      1. We’ll need to run the experiment again. I think we fucked this trial up.

  3. Since it’s somewhat on topic, I’m reposting these two Sowell/Friedman videos from last nights Huffpo/Holder thread because, well, they are fucking awesome that’s why.

    First Sowell dismantles Frances Fox Piven with unassailable logic here-

    And then takes down another “I know what’s best for you” socialist here at the same debate-

    (skip to 3:35 for the fireworks on this one)…

    I love how Friedman practically takes pity on the folks that Sowell just destroyed in summarizing the arguments.

    First, Skip to 3:35 of this one to see Sowell dismantle

  4. Speaking of Affirmative action,…..nts&cnum=3

    One of the true believers defending the sand box moralist Elizabeth Warren on her exploitation of a relative five generations removed.

    All this Balderdash & Venom from a state/City that attacked Children in a School Bus attempting to go to school when the FED Govt ENFORCED School Desgregation? Where the 1st American to die in The Revolutionary War was Crispus Attocks?And, NOW … You MORONS attack a Woman who actually IS part Cherokee, because Cherokees are “White Indians”? Tell ya what … Find an intelligent voice, & agree to have the IDIOTS “Fall Silent”. You would actually choose a Lock Step Repub than a Consumer Advocate that WORKS to keep YOU from getting screwed any more than you already have, & She’s The Villain? Al Queda must have dosed your water with Bad LSD … there’s no other Plausible Explanation.

    Lol, Reality Pwns!

    1. THAT didn’t need to be revised. Went through the first time. Good job squirrels.

    2. WI has yet another alias?

    3. Nice use OF Caps

      1. I’m not sure HERC would agree.

    4. Heh, look at how many downvotes that comment has. Gives me hope.

  5. To truly remove the stench of institutional racism in America, I think we will probably still need about another one hundred years of institutional, race-based merit.

    1. We need to elect 43 black presidents in a row before it’s fair!

      1. And we’ve only elected half of one so far! OTOH the oppressed Irish-Americans have finally been getting their due, if quietly.

    2. It won’t be that long before whites are less than 20% of the US population.

      1. I look forward to claiming my minority status so I can complain about the colored man keeping me down.

        1. Hopefully, as now, that will be a made up complaint instead of a legit one.

          1. Made up complaints are worth as much as real ones. More, sometimes.

          2. I have never noticed any requirement that complaints be tied to reality. Why must you burden my people with your onerous requirements?

      2. Isn’t it almost time we stopped defining white as if it is somehow inherently pure. Enough of the “one drop makes you a nigger” bullshit. Obama is just as much a white person as he is a black person.

        To get back to the comment I am responding to, I think a better way to say that is that soon most of the US population won’t be of any particular race (or I hope so anyway).

        1. So we’ll all be varying degrees of mulatto.

          But only some will be Heroic.

          1. Everyone on earth is of African descent, if you go back enough generations.

            1. I’m of the understanding that that is no longer considered true, and that human ancestors sprang up independently in Asia.

            2. I’m of the understanding that that is no longer considered true, and that human ancestors sprang up independently in Asia.

            3. I’m of the understanding that that is no longer considered true, and that human ancestors sprang up independently in Asia.

              1. Geez, Enough About Asia.

        2. Well, I’m from the Isles English, Scot, and Irish so no doubt I’ve got some Roman, German and Viking in me somewhere as well. Of course we all originated in Africa. According to my DNA we made we made to the isles from Africa via the Levant so probably some Semetic blood in there as well. Which could also mean some Persian. Who the hell knows what else. So yeah, we’re already all mutts. I’m cool with that.

        3. I know, right? If we were being honest with ourselves, we’d admit that most of us “white boys” aren’t even 100% HUMAN. Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA, anyone? How anyone can even harp about racial purity while ignoring species purity, I don’t know. Rank ignorance, most likely.

  6. Thanks. Must see when I get home.

    1. Oops. That was supposed to be a response to Tman.

      1. You won’t be disappointed, Sowell is brilliant.

  7. Don’t see this happening. I mean, c’mon. C’mon.

  8. The great national experiment with affirmative action began in the Johnson Administration, thrived in the Nixon years, and has survived, embattled but enduring, ever since. We may now be in its final chapter.

    If the mere act of asking if Affirmative Action programs or policies violate the EPC of the 14th Amendment makes a person like Toobin declare the program dead, then what other conclusion can one draw except that Affirmative Action was known since the beginning to be unconstitutional and violatory of the EPC of the 14th Amendment? Otherwise Toobin’s conclusion would be unwarranted, premature and even paranoid.

    In other words, it is like Toobin saying “Uh oh, they’re on to us!”

    1. He’s probably looking at the nature of the oral arguments involved, rather than the basic assertion of unconstitutionality. Compare to the arguments about the ACA. Beforehand, most people were skeptical that it would go anywhere. Afterword, they all started freaking out.

  9. lol, gotta jsut love those supreme kangaroo courts lol.

    1. It does make sense when you think about it.

  10. My questions to the defenders of affirmative action would be “How long does it take for past injustices to be rectified?” and “On what basis will you determine that justice has been served and that we can progress to a color-blind society?” I doubt they’d have an answer for either because they don’t want to set any kind of goalpost since their aim is to continue it indefinitely.

    1. My question to the defenders of affirmative action would be “So you think you can end racial discrimination by making explicit racial discrimination a policy?”

      1. Unfortunatly that would go right over their shallow little heads.

        1. RACIST!!!1111!!!

    2. I suspect that the answer would be “until we achieve income equality” or some other measure of “fairness.” Which is ultimately a non-answer and allows them to appear responsive while still avoiding the actual question.

    3. Sort of like asking them to define and explain the “fair share” the rich should pay. When you ask ’em how much should we give…

      1. I’ve seen debates over school funding where they literally refuse to answer how much money per student spending is enough.

        1. Usually, in my experience, the side calling for more funding won’t acknowledge how much is being spent per pupil now.

          1. Because whatever it is, it isn’t enough for the future of our great society.

  11. RACIST!

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