UPDATED: More Culture Wars at SCOTUS

Opus Dei and SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts

Say goodbye to Affirmative Action:

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear challenges to the admissions process at Harvard and University of North Carolina, presenting the most serious threat in decades to the use of affirmative action by the nation’s public and private colleges and universities.

Despite similar challenges, the court has repeatedly upheld affirmative action in the past. But two liberal justices who were key to those decisions are gone — Anthony Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Their replacements, Trump appointees Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett are conservative and considered less likely to find the practice constitutional…

…The Supreme Court has long barred racial quotas in admissions. But it has allowed schools to consider a student’s race to be one “plus factor” among many other qualities, provided the admissions process looks at the overall qualifications of applicants and uses race no more than necessary to achieve a level of diversity.

As we’ve seen, John Robert’s illegitimates SCOTUS does not view precedence kindly when it gets in the way of idealogical and culture war issues on the right. We’re not saying that this necessarily means that you have to be white to get into Harvard, but we’ll give Paris Hilton the last word:

UPDATE 1: The Pod Save Whatevs guys email thingie:

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear challenges to affirmative action at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, which probably spells the end of race-conscious admissions programs in higher education. Both cases were brought by Students for Fair Admissions, a right-wing group which targeted both a public and a private university as part of a years-long legal strategy to wipe out affirmative action across the board. Lower courts have sided with the universities. The Supreme Court last upheld the (limited) consideration of race in college admissions in 2016, with a 4-3 vote in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, but that was before a popular-vote-losing president stacked the bench with reliable far-right operatives. The current conservative majority is far more likely to overturn precedent in service of GOP culture war.

UPDATE 2: Our pals at Electoral-Vote

SCOTUS has already considered affirmative action, including affirmative action in education, numerous times. The best-known cases are: (1) Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978), which said that quotas are not ok, but that it’s ok to consider race as part of the student’s overall profile, and (2) Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), which said that it is acceptable to favor underrepresented minority groups as long as those applicants are also judged based on factors used for all students (e.g., SAT scores). As chance would have it, the opinions in both cases specifically mention Harvard as a university that is doing things the right way.

Now that SCOTUS is taking yet another look, the odds that the policy survives beyond July of next year, when the Supremes will announce their decisions for the 2022-23 term, are not good. The current suit was manufactured by Edward Blum, a conservative activist who was also responsible for the case that gutted the Voting Rights Act. He knows well how to spoon-feed Roberts, and affirmative action is one of Roberts’ biggest bugaboos. In 2007, for example, the Chief Justice wrote: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” It’s understandable; as a fellow with two degrees from Harvard, he clearly was held back by a lack of opportunity for white folks. Anyhow, we already know how he’s going to vote. Unless you can persuade yourself that two of the five remaining conservatives will want to uphold affirmative action, then you must concede that the policy is headed to the same junk pile as the Voting Rights Act.

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5 Responses to UPDATED: More Culture Wars at SCOTUS

  1. So they’re going to ban legacy admits, right? because that is most definitely preferences based on immutable characteristics like race?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. roket says:

    I suppose this will trickle down to banning extra points for being female, veterans and level of education. Goodbye EEOC.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. MDavis says:

    Garden talk.
    Commercial tree fruits are, so I’ve been told, usually scions (the fruit bearing bit) of desired fruit-bearing stock grafted onto a sturdy root stock.
    The root stock is chosen because it is hard to kill, thus supporting the often more delicate scion.
    And I wrote that so that I could point out that Affirmative action hasn’t change the root stock as much as it was supposed to. See the vitriol involved in the 2016 presidential elections for supporting evidence. Also, see the results of that election.
    Bear with me, please.
    Although Affirmative action has been protested by a lot of people I suspect it has let many people see that biases against certain groups are unsupported by the facts. Affirmative Action (AA) has been protested by a lot of groups that are native to the rootstock that AA was grafted onto. These are the groups that believe AA has proven their beliefs to be correct. The rootstock has flouristhed.
    So here’s my question:
    What needs to be done to alter or replace the political DNA of the rootstock? If this problem can be solved, Affirmative Action has done its work. In fact, that work is supposed to be a temporary effort meant to arrive at a permanent change in the culture#.

    As someone who has dealt with Western Washington morning glories (AKA bindweed) I can tell you it won’t work to just prune it back. This just encourages more vigorous root growth – counterproductive to the cause.

    Here’s my basis for saying that AA solutions are meant to heal, not be a permanent band-aid:

    From https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/cm-607-affirmative-action

    607.15 Unapproved Plans: Reasonable Action
    (a) General Standards
    (1) An affirmative action plan must be designed to achieve the purpose of Title VII, i.e., to break down old patterns of segregation and hierarchy and to overcome the effects of past discrimination.

    (2) An affirmative action plan must be designed to solve the problem disclosed by the self analysis and to ensure that employment systems operate fairly in the future.

    (3) An affirmative action plan must be a concerted, reasoned program, rather than one or more isolated events.

    (4) An affirmative action plan must be temporary, i.e., in effect only as long as necessary to achieve the plan’s objective.


  4. xpldagain says:

    liberal justice Anthony Kennedy. Some kind of window thing just happened?

    Liked by 1 person

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