Posts Tagged ‘SCOTUS’

Court punts but affirmative action on the ropes

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

(USAToday) The Supreme Court, by a 7-1 vote, correctly slapped down the lower court for deferring to the University of Texas regarding the use of race in college admissions. It punted, however, on the larger question of whether that use of race is constitutional, instead instructing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to reconsider the issue under a less deferential standard of review.

That is, the lower court accepted the Supreme Court's 2003 ruling that using race as one factor, but not if race is tied to a set number of points or quotas, could be justified in the name of diversity. But it erred, the Supreme Court said, in not subjecting UT-Austin's admissions process to what lawyers call "strict scrutiny."

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Clarence Thomas: ‘The elites’ had to approve a black president

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

 

(CNN) – Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the high court's only African American jurist, opened up recently about his thoughts on race and the White House.

Asked if he ever expected to see an African American president in his lifetime, the conservative justice said he always knew "it would have to be a black president who was approved by the elites and the media, because anybody that they didn't agree with, they would take apart."

"And that will happen with virtually – you pick your person, any black person who says something that is not the prescribed things that they expect from a black person will be picked apart," he said in an April interview at Duquesne Law School in Pittsburgh, which aired on C-SPAN.

"You can pick anybody, don't pick me, pick anyone who has decided not to go along with it; there's a price to pay," he continued. "So, I always assumed it would be somebody the media had to agree with."

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A post-racial US? In era of Obama, Supreme Court may nullify civil rights policies as outdated

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

 

(StarTribune Op-Ed) Has the nation lived down its history of racism and should the law become colorblind?

Addressing two pivotal legal issues, one on affirmative action and a second on voting rights, a divided Supreme Court is poised to answer those questions.

In one case, the issue is whether race preferences in university admissions undermine equal opportunity more than they promote the benefits of racial diversity. Just this past week, justices signaled their interest in scrutinizing affirmative action very intensely, expanding their review as well to a Michigan law passed by voters that bars "preferential treatment" to students based on race. Separately in a second case, the court must decide whether race relations — in the South, particularly — have improved to the point that federal laws protecting minority voting rights are no longer warranted.

The questions are apt as the United States closes in on a demographic tipping point, when nonwhites will become a majority of the nation's population for the first time. That dramatic shift is expected to be reached within the next generation, and how the Supreme Court rules could go a long way in determining what civil rights and equality mean in an America long divided by race.

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The Leading Liberal Against Affirmative Action

Monday, March 18th, 2013

 

(Economix) My Capital Ideas column this week looks at liberals who would see some upsides if the Supreme Court made substantial changes to affirmative-action programs. The justices heard arguments in such a case in October — Fisher v. the University of Texas — and are expected to issue their decision between March 18 and late June.

Perhaps the most prominent self-described progressive with doubts about the current version of affirmative action is Richard D. Kahlenberg, of the Century Foundation. Mr. Kahlenberg argues that a race-focused version of affirmative action can be unfair, is inconsistent with many of the program’s original goals and has lost the support of the public. Today’s affirmative action, he says, helps perpetuate privilege, by helping to fill elite-college campuses with an ethnically diverse mix of affluent students.

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Sotomayor: Affirmative action changed my life

Monday, January 14th, 2013

(CBS News) Sonia Sotomayor was appointed four years ago by President Barack Obama, but she gave her first broadcast interview to "60 Minutes."

She grew up in a public housing project in the Bronx, the child of Puerto Rican immigrants.

One of the biggest cases before the court right now concerns racial preferences in college admissions, known as affirmative action.

We were curious about how she sees that, because it was a factor in how Sotomayor got into Princeton in 1972.

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Colleges’ Plan B for Diversity

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

 

(National Journal) Many colleges and universities appear to be preparing for alternative methods of increasing racial diversity on their campuses by adopting admissions policies that place more emphasis on class and income.

survey by Inside Higher Ed, which asked admissions directors about likely steps they would take if the Supreme Court prohibits them from using affirmative action in colleges and universities, showed that many favor changes to admissions policy that are race-neutral.

(RELATED: As High Court Prepares to Hear Affirmative-Action Case, Issues of Race Equality Remain.)

About 30 percent administrators said they would consider placing greater weight on first-generation status, while 20 percent said they would focus on applicants’ socioeconomic status. Another 10 percent of directors at public, four-year institutions said they favored dropping standardized test scores.

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Why the high court should back race-based college admissions

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

(Washington Post) THE SUPREME COURT will consider Wednesday its biggest affirmative action case in a decade when the justices examine the suit of Abigail Fisher, a woman denied admission to the University of Texas (UT) at Austin in 2008. Lawyers for Ms. Fisher, who is white, claim that she suffered unjustly by having to compete against African American and Hispanic applicants in a system that considers race. Ms. Fisher wants the court to deem the university’s inclusion of race in its admissions process unlawful, a request the justices should deny. The worry is that the court will use Ms. Fisher’s case to rewrite decades of precedent, with implications for nearly every campus in the country, public and private.

Nobody should be comfortable with any system that uses race as a criterion to distribute scarce opportunities, such as admission to Texas’s flagship public university. Yet, as Justice Lewis Powell wrote in 1978, the country’s future depends on exposing prospective leaders “to ideas and mores of students as diverse as this nation of many peoples.” So does the legitimacy of institutions such as UT.

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New data on affirmative action in college

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

 

(SFgate) As the Supreme Court revisits the use of race in college admissions next week, critics of affirmative action are hopeful the justices will roll back the practice – and a new report Wednesday offers a big reason for their optimism.

Evidence from at least some of the nine states that don't use affirmative action shows that leading public universities can bring meaningful diversity to their campuses through race-neutral means.

That conclusion is vigorously disputed by supporters of race-based affirmative action, including universities in states like California that cannot under state law factor race into admissions decisions.

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The Supreme Court Could Strike Down Laws Said To Discriminate Against White People

Monday, October 1st, 2012

(Business Insider) The U.S. Supreme Court resumes work on Monday, confronting a caseload that could prove every bit as contentious as the legal battle over healthcare reform.

 

Among the most bitterly fought cases are expected to be a number aimed at overturning longstanding civil rights laws by a clutch of Republican-run states who claim they are outdated and unjustly discriminatory against white people.

The cases have the potential to strike at the heart of more than half a century of civil rights legislation by potentially abolishing central government oversight of elections in states with a history of systematic racism and dealing a fatal blow to affirmative action in higher education.

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Asian-American rift over Supreme Court affirmative action case

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

(Chicago Tribune) On Monday, dozens of Asian-American organizations filed amicus briefs at the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that universities should be allowed to consider race in admissions decisions. Five Asian-American groups were not among them.

That's because those groups already filed their briefs in the closely watched University of Texas case — on the other side. They argued in May that the school's race-conscious admissions policies hurt Asian-Americans by giving less qualified candidates a leg up on admissions.

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