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Chemerinsky: Supreme Court Revisits Affirmative Action in Universities

Oct 1, 2012, 08:45 am CDT

Comments

She’s just upset that she couldn’t get admitted based on her gender alone.

By faddking on 2012 10 01, 10:03 am CDT

It is time for the Supreme Court to revisit this issue. Whatever value affirmative action may have once had, is long gone.

By Yankee on 2012 10 01, 11:35 am CDT

I’m sure Yankee envisions a reversal of Grutter leading to our elite institutions being filled almost exclusively with white Christian “sheeple”—although presumably smarter than himself, as they would be admitted purely on merit. In reality, if our universities admitted students purely on merit, they would be comprised of approximately 80% Asian students, and 20% everyone else. And most of those Asian students would come from places like China, Korea, Japan, and India, where competition for jobs is even more fierce than in the US, so students tend to be more motivated. Plus the state university systems can charge more for their tuition.

On the other hand, the minority admissions criteria should be reevaluated. An acquaintance who was the first person in her family to go to college, and who was admitted as minority student at Yale Law School, said one of her reasons for going to Yale was that she was told there would be other Latino students like her in the class. It turned out that all of the other “Latino” students were the sons and daughters of Mexican politicians, Spanish diplomats, and at least one person everyone suspected was a relative of a Columbian drug lord.

By BMF on 2012 10 01, 12:40 pm CDT

Gee, isn’t it sad that centers of academia don’t judge people on their academic ability.

By Marc on 2012 10 01, 1:03 pm CDT

@4 True, if they judged people on academic ability, George W. Bush might never have become President.

By faddking on 2012 10 01, 1:25 pm CDT

@5: And Obama would never have been admitted to Colombia or Harvard, and would definitely not have become President.

By Marc on 2012 10 01, 1:31 pm CDT

@ 6 - I can guarantee you that Obama, and anyone else here for that matter, can get into Colombia merely upon presenting proof of U.S. citizenship. No inquiry into academic ability involved.

By NoleLaw on 2012 10 01, 1:58 pm CDT

@3 “. . . white Christian ‘sheeple’ . . .”

Wow! Was that ever bigoted!

By Yankee on 2012 10 01, 3:19 pm CDT

@6 I’m sure you meant to provide a link to support your assertions of President Obama’s lack of academic ability. However, knowing your irrational hatred of President Obama, we won’t hold our breath waiting for you to do so. However, it is indisputable that George W. Bush was denied admission to the University of Texas School of Law because of his academic shortcomings but thereafter got into Harvard’s School of Business MBA program after a sizeable donation to the university was made by the Bush Family.

By faddking on 2012 10 01, 3:37 pm CDT

@8 “Wow! Was that ever bigoted! “

Only to somebody who’s never been around religous conservatives of any stripe for any extended period of time.

By faddking on 2012 10 01, 3:42 pm CDT

@9: Obama has nor allowed his grades to be released.  You can draw your own conclusions.

However, we know he was admitted to Harvard based on Affirmative Action, despite the fact that his ancestors were not discriminated against and despite the fact that he attended elite private schools. Why do you think that was necessary or appropriate?

We also know that he has never published anything academic - absolutely unprecedented for a law professor.  There are also comments from his colleagues at the law school of Chicago which indicate Obama never participated in any intellectual debate as did other professors.

You do know that Bush got better grades than Al Gore and John Kerry, right?

Also, please point to any post that I have made leading any reasonable person to conclude that I have an “irrational hatred of Obama.”

By Marc on 2012 10 01, 4:15 pm CDT

Oh, and by the way, please let us have a link supporting any assertion that Obama is academically gifted.

By Marc on 2012 10 01, 4:17 pm CDT

@10 “. . . religious denominations of any stripe . . .”

No, in your earlier comment you called out “Christians” by name.

By Yankee on 2012 10 01, 4:45 pm CDT

how can universities admit football and basketball players under special admission rules not available to regular applicants, when many of these players can barely even read at the high school level?

By FeeStar on 2012 10 01, 6:07 pm CDT

@14 - Those admission rules are available to everyone, they are pure performance based criteria. If you can run a 40 under 5 seconds, you too might qualify.

@11 - If Obama was admitted to HLS based on affirmative action, his being president of the Harvard Law Review, and his graduating magna cum laude, should demonstrate beyond a doubt that he was more than qualified to attend. Do you have any more banalities to spew, something to contribute to the topic of this article, or are you off to Colombia?

By NoleLaw on 2012 10 01, 7:10 pm CDT

Yankee @ 8:  Most of the Ivy League Schools were founded for the purpose of training ministers for the Anglican Church or various Protestant sects, as were many other private colleges. Until the late 19th century, they were virtually all white institutions. They were Christian in their orientation, and most were originally segregated by gender. College admissions tests, the forerunners of the SATs, were allegedly developed at the turn of the last century to weed out students who were “not prepared for college.” In reality, the admissions directors of elite schools hoped to use them to legitimately discriminate against the recent influx of Jews, blacks and other racial and ethnic groups. The institutions themselves were inherently bigoted—which was one of the reasons for the institution of affirmative action in universities. Does this clarify things for you?

FeeStar @ 14: Don’t let the academic trappings fool you: Universities are businesses. They depend on donations from alumni and industry. And if it will take a winning football/basketball season to increase alumni donations, they’ll make it happen. Even if it means having a player classified as having a learning disability and allowing him to take tests by drawing pictures—which apparently happened at one school, years ago.

By BMF on 2012 10 01, 8:30 pm CDT

@11

“Obama has nor allowed his grades to be released.  You can draw your own conclusions.”

In other words, you feel free to make stuff up about his academic ability based on nothing but speculation and your hatred of Pres. Obama.

“However, we know he was admitted to Harvard based on Affirmative Action”

How so? Please provide a link.

“There are also comments from his colleagues at the law school of Chicago which indicate Obama never participated in any intellectual debate as did other professors.”

Link please.

“You do know that Bush got better grades than Al Gore and John Kerry, right?”

You do know that Al Gore and John Kerry actually served in Vietnam while Bush got a slot in the already overcrowded Texas ANG that he didn’t even bother to show up for most of the time, right?

“please point to any post “

Just about any post you make.

By faddking on 2012 10 01, 9:10 pm CDT

@13 Which earlier comment # was that?

By faddking on 2012 10 01, 9:11 pm CDT

@ 15, “...his graduating magna cum laude”.  That’s like saying, “he graduated”.  Pretty much everyone above the bottom quarter graduated with honors in the mid-90’s. 

Look it up if you don’t believe me.

All that said, whether or not President Obama received good grades in his UG and HLS years is beside the point.  Obviously he’s a very intelligent fellow.  And not all smart people always get great grades, anyway.  Sometimes other things get in the way.  President Obama himself has admitted he was a bit of a party animal in school.

By DoodleFarbe on 2012 10 01, 10:29 pm CDT

@ 18, he’s either got you confoozed with BMF or is trying to insinuate that one of you is a sock puppets for the other.

By DoodleFarbe on 2012 10 01, 10:32 pm CDT

The need to boot this case either for standing or mootness.  Either will do, and either is a correct (legal) result.

By DoodleFarbe on 2012 10 01, 10:33 pm CDT

Doodle: Not just “sock puppets”, but shamelessly bigoted “sock puppets”

By Yankee on 2012 10 01, 10:54 pm CDT

@21 - Thank you for mentioning a legal argument. What about that whole ‘capable of repetition and evading review” aspect? They might punt, however; might be the safe move considering the composition of the court for those that favor allowing schools to retain race as one criteria to be used in admissions.

By NoleLaw on 2012 10 02, 7:04 am CDT

another disgusting member of the law school cartel…makes my skin crawl

By JOE on 2012 10 02, 9:31 am CDT

Yankee @ 22: Wrong—on both counts. But feel free to continue displaying your ignorance. I occasionally need the amusement.

By BMF on 2012 10 02, 10:42 am CDT

As a black male I fully understand why Affrimative Action was needed in the past.  I think it is an outdated policy that should be done away with.  HOWEVER, the people that are complaining about are not straight A, 4.0 students that are getting denied acceptance into colleges or universities.  No school is going to deny admittance to any student that possesses the academic excellence coming out of high school.  The people who have a problem with this action are middle of the road, C+ students that are looking for a scapegoat to blame for their failures.  The next time you think you are being discriminated upon for being white, you should read Peggy McIntosh’s article ‘White Privilege.’

By CJ on 2012 10 02, 10:45 am CDT

CJ @ 26: If many high school students still didn’t think of college as a goal that only rich kids could hope to achieve, I think that more of them would try for it. If more merit and needs-based scholarships were made available to kids from high schools in economically depressed areas, we could possibly achieve a similar level of diversity as with affirmative action—not to mention the benefit of lower dropout rates.

By BMF on 2012 10 02, 11:32 am CDT

@15:  You are not aware of the huge issue by the Harvard Law Review amending its criteria for admission to include race?  You are not aware that Obama was appointed to the HLR based on race?  Do you pay attention to anything other than Obama’s talking points and the MSM?

By Marc on 2012 10 02, 11:43 am CDT

@17:  You need to get help.  If you cannot conduct a reasonable debate on a forum for professionals, you have serious problems.

And I suggest you break away from being spoonfed by the MSM and actually inquire about things.  If the MSM and American public had paid attention in 2008 and done some due diligence, we would not be in the disastrous position we are now.

By Marc on 2012 10 02, 11:46 am CDT

@29 If you can’t answer the questions or provide a link to support your position, then be honest about it and simply say so, Marc.

And I suggest you break away from being spoonfed by Fox News and Right-wing Radio and actually inquire about things.  If Fox News, Right-wing radio and American public had paid attention in 2000 and done some due diligence, we would not be in the disastrous position we are now.

By faddking on 2012 10 02, 12:59 pm CDT

Comment removed by moderator.

By faddking on 2012 10 02, 1:22 pm CDT

I remember not too long ago that the majority of comments at the ABAJournal were focused, at least tangentially, to legal analysis. When was this site invaded by tinfoil hat-wearing automatons that cannot but mention Obama in response to every article?

@26 and 27 - While some form of affirmative action may be justified, it really overlooks the main issue, which is the glaring achievement gap between the races which becomes very pronounced as early as elementary school. That, and the causes of this gap, is where most efforts to equalize opportunity should be directed.

By NoleLaw on 2012 10 02, 2:24 pm CDT

Marc @ 11:
“You do know that Bush got better grades than Al Gore and John Kerry, right?”

You do know that Cheney flunked out of Yale—and he probably ran the country after 9/11, right? What’s your point? Most politicians are not outstanding students. Clinton was probably one of the few exceptions in recent time—and even he wasn’t as smart as Hillary!

By BMF on 2012 10 02, 4:24 pm CDT

BMF: And Biden was found guilty of plagiarism when he was in law school. (And not having learned anything from the experience, Biden had to drop out of his first bid for President after it was discovered that he plagiarized the speeches if the then-leader of the UK labor party.)

By Yankee on 2012 10 02, 5:25 pm CDT

@34 “Biden was found guilty of plagiarism when he was in law school.”

Really? Who found Biden “guilty”? Your hatred of anyone who is not a Republican blinds you to facts. During his first year of law school, he was accused of having plagiarized 5 of 15 pages of a law review article. Biden said it was inadvertent due to his not knowing the proper rules of citation (given everyone’s own law school experience struggling with proper citation, he’s certainly got the benefit of the doubt). In any event, he was not found “guilty” of plagarism. He was in fact permitted to retake the course after receiving a grade of F. Years later, Biden released a 65-page file, obtained from the Syracuse University College of Law, that contained all the records of his years there. It disclosed relatively poor grades in college and law school, mixed evaluations from teachers and details of the plagiarism allegations.

In my decades of law practice, I have seen complaints, motions, etc. copied virtually word-for-word by dozens of lawyers at several different law firms, with only the names and particular facts changed. We don’t call this plagarism, we call it the practice of law.

There is one politician that comes to mind who was known for stealing other people’s stories and claiming them as his own: Ronald Reagan, the 40th President.

By faddking on 2012 10 03, 8:53 pm CDT

Of course Biden has an “explanation”.  Bottom line, however, is that he was an admitted cheat in law school and he was a cheat year’s later when he cribbed Neil Kinnock’s speeches

By Yankee on 2012 10 03, 9:40 pm CDT

@36 Bottom line is that your irrational hatred of Biden, not to mention your well-established lack of reading comprehension skills, blinds you to the actual facts. Biden admitted to screwing up on citation, not cheating.

As for cribbing Kinnock’s speeches, it’s not as bad as Ronald Reagan claiming to have been there when death camps were liberated when he spent the entire war in Culver City, CA.

By faddking on 2012 10 04, 12:11 am CDT

@ 36 & 37: C’mon, both of you! Politics is practically the only job left where you can “puff” your resume and rewrite your past to suit without being immediately disqualified for the job. It involves a lot of sales/marketing ability. You sell yourself to the public; you sell prospective laws to the other guys on both sides of the aisle and to the people they affect; you sell your country to the rest of the world, to keep that economic edge. . . You get the picture.

None of these guys is perfect: Biden wasn’t a great student, and probably was busted to remedial Bluebook class in law school. But Ryan was, to put it lightly, academically lazy, and judging by his admiration for Ayn Rand, not much of a critical thinker. (I wonder if he’s aware that Rand spent the last years of her life dependent on the system like the other 47% while receiving Medicare for lung cancer.) And Obama partied and did weed in college, while Mitt was impersonating police officers and bashing gays. Most politicians—like most of the rest of us—were actually young and stupid. So what? It’s what they’ve done since that time that counts.

By BMF on 2012 10 04, 12:19 pm CDT

@38 There is a difference between being lazy and being a cheat.

By Yankee on 2012 10 04, 12:25 pm CDT

Have some cheese with your whine, yankee.

By faddking on 2012 10 04, 2:29 pm CDT

OK, back to the case.  Here’s an interesting question:

Will the conservative wing act like “activist judges”, ignore the obvious standing/jurisdiction/Eleventh Amendment problems, and seize the opportunity to kill affirmative action in higher education?

If so, you know who will cheer the loudest?  Fox News and folks like Bill O’ Reilly and Rush Limbaugh—the guys who complained for years about “activist judges”, that wonderful jurisprudential bumper sticker label.

By chilaw on 2012 10 05, 5:29 am CDT

The ABA seems to be shamelessly plugging the dean of this newly opened law school despite the overproduction of new lawyers and the lack of work for most of them.

Regardless, this dean of a University of California school should know that his own system has found ways to bypass the “point” system or other affirmative action methods allowed in other states (CA banned affirmative action with Prop. 209).  UCLA and Berkley use under-the-table affirmative action, exposed by an insider on the Admissions Committee in 2008, and now students routinely game the system—applicants are not dumb.  A Supreme Court ruling will not prevent dishonest deans from using lazy affirmative action policies in place of reforming the entire admission system.  For example, fix the obsession with the high-stakes standardized testing industry.

Make no mistake, the school administrations do not care about altruism or diversity—they care about politics and pleasing specific interests.  The schools must provide the appearance of racial balance and diversity to deflect criticism about how these schools contribute to race and class stratification, even as they pretend to fight against it.

By AB on 2012 10 05, 8:37 am CDT

The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race

By Slowleftarm on 2012 10 05, 8:37 am CDT

The sad truth is race is still a real issue in this country.  I used to work in human resources.  I would see continually the hiring results of individuals with comparable credentials.  The non-whites were hired less often and always at a lower salary than the whites.  I agree that dealing with the socioeconomic disparity will provide opportunities for persons who just by virtue of a lack of economic resources are ill prepared.  However, a discriminatory attitude toward person for nothing more than their race is still too real in this country.  I am not sure there is anyway to address it yet, except allowing it as a factor in the decision making process.

I’d like to believe that we live in a color blind society.  I’m sorry to report, “It just isn’t so.”

By AND THE BEAT GOES ON on 2012 10 05, 9:40 am CDT

So, race is 1/14th of your admission qualification at this Texas University, and this girl is whining she didn’t get in because of her race?  Get better grades hun.

By Steve on 2012 10 05, 9:42 am CDT

Here’s a great idea.  How about taking the race and gender boxes off of all applications whether they are for employment, school admissions or whatever.  A person’s race or gender has no bearing on whether he or she can succeed.  Make everything based on merit.  Everybody, but everybody knows that to gain admission into college one needs good high school grades.  This is true whether you grow up in a rural area, the suburbs or the inner city.  It is not a mystery.  Also, in addition to eliminating race and gender boxes, use only a person’s SSN in the initial application process so that the applicant’s name does not divulge his or her gender or race.
If we are going to eliminate discrimination, we have to stop basing employment or admissions decisions on irrelevant criteria such as race or gender.
I wish the USSC would simply apply 42 U.S.C. 1983 in these situations.

By America First on 2012 10 05, 10:07 am CDT

Here’s your link:
http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/08/early_obama_letter_confirms_inability_to_write.html

“I undoubtedly benefited from affirmative action programs during my academic career.”

—Barack Obama

I would love to provide more, but Obama won’t release his records.

By @9 on 2012 10 05, 10:10 am CDT

The smarmy hypocrisy of these lawsuits against affirmative action continue to astound me. It’s amazing how holier-than-thou the plaintiffs and their defenders are while they don’t give a hoot about the on-going discrimination against people of color, largely against people of African descent, that continues in just about every aspect of American life—discrimination that gives us white folks quite an advantage from birth by eliminating competition from people of color for quality education, jobs, and housing.

The radical right judges who now dominate the federal courts are all-too-happy to strike down just about every effort to remedy past and current discrimination particularly against African Americans as they pervert the Constitution so our white advantages can continue unabated. Their decisions have successfully resegregated the nation’s public schools as they foster the creation of a parallel charter school system largely for white pupils, much like the all-white “private” schools that dominated the South following Brown v. Board of Education. They have made sure that people of color from low-income families will have little opportunity to get a decent education, which is the pathway out of poverty. A good part of the growth of the middle class was due to affirmative action in education and employment which gave African Americans the opportunity to finally participate in the American Dream.

For decades the radical right courts have chipped away at every tool used to mitigate the impacts of on-going racial discrimination—and have done little to prevent or prohibit discrimination. And now this Supreme Court will get its chance to overturn decades of precedent and disallow disparate impact analysis in fair housing and other discrimination cases. It’s a dire situation, that bodes ill for the future of this nation.

By Dan L on 2012 10 05, 10:20 am CDT

Why is faddking still allowed to post on this site?  He has NEVER contributed anything of legal substance, all he does is spew hatred and call other posters names.  Can we please ban him?

By Just Some Bloke on 2012 10 05, 10:38 am CDT

#11—By your logic of assuming the worst about Obama’s unreleased academic transcripts, we also get to assume from Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns that everything Harry Reid’s speculated about their contents is 100% true.

By AndytheLawyer on 2012 10 05, 10:40 am CDT

Here’s an idea I heard about that doesn’t get much play—instead of just considering the type of STUDENT the school wants to admit, how about more emphasis on the type of GRADUATE the school wants to produce?  This would be especially pertinent to tax-payer funded state schools.  What is the ideal alumni?  Of course graduating with good credentials and skills to take to the workforce is essential.  But how about the applicant’s aspirations to give back to the community, for instance, by going into careers like public education or primary care medicine, by working with underserved populations, and by community and charitable volunteer work?  The sincerity of such aspirations could be judged in part by the applicant’s history of such activities.  Sterile GPA and standardized test scores alone will never define who is most deserving of admission, from the standpoint of the individual, the school, or the state.

And one more suggestion—how about keeping the comments civil.  We lawyers can certainly make our points without the personal insults, and such insults actually detract from the merits of whatever point is trying to be made.  How about pretending we are making our comments face to face to a real person.

By IndyCanary on 2012 10 05, 10:42 am CDT

@The author: THANK YOU for discussing jurisdiction.  I’ve been wondering about this for quite some time now and yet the only topic any commentator has discussed has been the merits of the case.  Glad to hear someone else questioned it too.

@The commenters against AA: the policy concerns current injustice, not past.  This isn’t about the ‘60s.

@The Obama comments: the man managed to achieve Editor of Harvard Law Review.  If you think that’s because of AA, I’d love to hear how.  (Why do critics of AA only ever look at how people got in to these institutions?  Do they never consider that many candidates excel, and even I dare say, graduate on their own merit?)

By LawStudent on 2012 10 05, 10:54 am CDT

Comment removed by moderator.

By Name removed by moderator. on 2012 10 05, 11:49 am CDT

Comment removed by moderator.

By Name removed by moderator. on 2012 10 05, 11:57 am CDT

Comment removed by moderator.

By Name removed by moderator. on 2012 10 05, 12:06 pm CDT

I need to remind you, all comments made by the same commenter in a single story must use the same pseudonym. Otherwise I have to take it down, regardless of its value as a comment.

Lee Rawles
Web Producer
ABAJournal.com

By Lee Rawles on 2012 10 05, 12:30 pm CDT

@47 Nice link to americanthinker.com.

Here are some titles from their website:
Why Obama Lies
Obama The Tragedy
Obama: The Lying King
Liberals Ruin Everything

Yep, real un-biased, non-partisan source there.

Try again.

By faddking on 2012 10 05, 12:40 pm CDT

#48- ” The radical right judges who now dominate the federal courts…..”

LOL…......go sniff some more glue…........

By WINGCMDR on 2012 10 05, 12:51 pm CDT

without considering the merits of the discussions, or underlying veracity, about whether Obama was independently qualified, or artificially helped, in achieving his benchmarks, the fact that people raise them, suspect them, consider them or believe them shows the harm done by AA programs to the minorities they seek to help.
The problems of racism, which will never be eliminated, are far less severe than they were 50 years ago. Yet proponents of AA or other artificial social engineering keep the racism going, by creating tension over race alone, by claiming that institutional racism is so pervasive that strong-arm measures are still required, by acting as if race alone causes poverty and under-achievement, that the members of the minority are not capable of succeeding (or even getting a photo ID). 
The seething resentment along racial lines that they create and maintain may empower them, but it shows they truly hav e no concern about reducing racial strife, or that they themselves are so intellectually stunted that they cannot recognise the combined racism and hypocrisy of their position.
And when you listen closely you will hear the members of the victim class pleading to be left alone, so they won’t be killed by the helping hand.

By Hadley V. Baxendale on 2012 10 05, 2:33 pm CDT

The largest group of “affirmative action” recipients are the dumbass kids of university alumni.

By faddking on 2012 10 05, 4:48 pm CDT

@#48—Another victacrat. Boo-Hoo.

By NOW JERRY BROWN on 2012 10 05, 5:57 pm CDT

@39 There is a difference between being lazy and being a cheat.

It’s clear that you have no tolerance for cheats so that is why you will now denounce Republican Rep. Todd Akin for being a tax cheat and that he should withdraw from the MO Senate race.

By faddking on 2012 10 06, 2:32 am CDT

1619 - The first African slaves arrive in Virginia.

1787 - The U.S Constitution states that Congress may not ban the slave trade until 1808.

1808 - Congress bans the importation of slaves from Africa.

1857 - The Dred Scott case holds that Congress does not have the right to ban slavery in states and, furthermore, that slaves are not citizens.

1863 - President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring “that all persons held as slaves” within the Confederate states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”

1865 - Lincoln is assassinated (April 14). The Ku Klux Klan is formed in Tennessee by ex-Confederates (May). Slavery in the United States is effectively ended when 250,000 slaves in Texas finally receive the news that the Civil War had ended two months earlier (June 19). Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, prohibiting slavery. Black codes are passed by Southern states, drastically restricting the rights of newly freed slaves.

1896 - Plessy v. Ferguson: This landmark Supreme Court decision holds that racial segregation is constitutional, paving the way for the repressive Jim Crow laws in the South.

1931 - Nine black youths are indicted in Scottsboro, Ala., on charges of having raped two white women. Although the evidence was slim, the southern jury sentenced them to death. The Supreme Court overturns their convictions twice; each time Alabama retries them, finding them guilty. In a third trial, four of the Scottsboro boys are freed; but five are sentenced to long prison terms.

1954 - Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans. declares that racial segregation in schools is unconstitutional.

1978 - The Supreme Court case, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke upheld the constitutionality of affirmative action, but imposed limitations on it to ensure that providing greater opportunities for minorities did not come at the expense of the rights of the majority (June 28).

2003 - In Grutter v. Bollinger, the most important affirmative action decision since the 1978 Bakke case, the Supreme Court (5–4) upholds the University of Michigan Law School’s policy, ruling that race can be one of many factors considered by colleges when selecting their students because it furthers “a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body.” (June 23)

2006 - In Parents v. Seattle and Meredith v. Jefferson, affirmative action suffers a setback when a bitterly divided court rules, 5 to 4, that programs in Seattle and Louisville, Ky., which tried to maintain diversity in schools by considering race when assigning students to schools, are unconstitutional.

2012 - ?

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/bhmtimeline.html

By karanchibal on 2012 10 06, 2:46 pm CDT

I’m assuming that most commenters on here are either lawyers or law students, and it disappoints me to see how closed-mindedness and backward-thinking can be so prevalent even among well-educated individuals such as lawyers and law students.  I used to think that education fostered understanding, but comment boards like this one have shown me how wrong I’ve been.

By JB on 2012 10 06, 5:49 pm CDT

Going back to the issue, I thought Justice Powell had it right in Bakke.  The common excuse to bar non-whites from an education is their not qualified or that some white guy is more qualified.  Some of the commenters honestly believe that racism and bigotry is no longer a problem. They’re wrong.  Without affirmative action, most of our colleges would consist of upper middle class and wealthy white kids.  Lower middle class kids and non-whites who will soon be the majority of this country’s population would be shut out.  Not because they’re stupid but because they would never be given the opportunity.  I still remember the battle at Ole Miss when 123 federal officers were wounded trying to get one black air force veteran admitted pursuant to a court order.  Those days are not over.

As for some of the comments regarding the Presidents academic achievements, none of you on either side have any idea what they were.  I do know whether I agreed with him or not, he has accomplished more in his life than I or most if not all of you.  He comes from a lower middle class family, is of mixed race and had to work his way up from the bottom.  He is now the President of the United States and most of you are griping you did not do so well. If President Obama is defeated so be it, but he achieved the top and you never have and never will.

By George Sly on 2012 10 07, 11:28 am CDT

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