Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Affirmative Action: Like It Or Not

Thanks to the Supreme Court and university administrators, affirmative action is alive and well. You may not agree with the policy—most people don’t—but in our supposedly democratic republic, your opinion does not matter.

You have affirmative action, like it or not.

Gallup ran a poll and the Heat St. blog reported on it:

new poll from the Gallup organization, taken in the wake of last month’s Supreme Court ruling effectively upholding the use of race-based criteria in the college admissions process, found that a majority of Americans — including minorities — are opposed to the practice.

Seven out of 10 people polled by Gallup said merit, in the form of high school grades or test scores, should be the sole basis for admission to a University. More African-American respondents said they supported racially blind merit-based admissions (50%) than those who said race should be considered an important factor (44%).

You read that correctly. A majority of African-American respondents preferred race-blind merit-based admission.

As I say, their opinion does not count any more than anyone else’s.

Heat St. continues, commenting on the Supreme Court decision upholding affirmative action in college admissions:

The Gallup poll suggests that a large majority of Americans do not support the decision, and have opposed government’s use of racial discrimination for some time. Similar polls in 2003, 2007 and 2013 came back with similar results.

While there were differences among racial groups, results from the polling suggest that most Americans — be they white, black or Latino — oppose the sort of policies upheld by the Supreme Court in the Fisher case and favor a more merit-based one. Only 4% of whites, 17% of blacks and 26% of Latinos said Hispanics say race and ethnicity should be a major factor in admissions.

As I said, your view does not count. Your guardians will decide for you.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Anthony Kennedy likes affirmative action. That's why it's the law of the land. He has authored a great many tortured opinions on this subject, one of his personal favorites.

Judicial review seems to be beyond scope and importance, and it has been invoked much more regularly in the past 60 years. There is nothing in the Constitution provisioning for the Supreme Court to have this power... John Marshall made it up. Was that for good or ill? I don't know. What I do know is that judicial review is used too often by today's court. The opinions are too long, as are the dissents. It seems like a tortured way to try to "objectively" justify one's subjective whims as to what should be so. There seem to be few limits on the court's power. What is the citizenry's recourse? Pass an Amendment? We have to go that far to rein in a court acting beyond its scope, using Amendments in ways that are out of scope?

I would like to see the Supreme Court be more deferential to Congress and state legislatures. If judicial review is to be the judiciary's weapon in the Separation of Powers, it ought be used sparingly. This means judicial restraint, as the late Justuve Scalia called for regularly, asking "What gives the court this power?" The 14th Amendment has been especially perverted to enforce equality where it does not belong, with such expansive consequences that it becomes the catch-all reasoning for any opinion a justice might have. This is where Scalia's Originalism is important: the imeaning of the law when it was passed. I think the Obgerfell (gay marriage) dissents were quite powerful on this point. Also, it is obscene that the Solicitor General was arguing for the plaintiff's case before the Supreme Court in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case, so the law really had no defense in the proceedings. This strikes me as corrupt... who is advocating the will of the people, as decided by the Congress?

Affirmative action is yet another attempt to correct the undesirable historical impact of discrimination based on immutable characteristics. We solve the problem by changing standards so we may intentionally discriminate based on immutable characteristics. People discriminate all the time, and now sophisticated discriminators come up with lots of ways to be clever about its packaging. This is why we've become such a legalistic society: we have to corrupt language and navigate around law to get what we desire or wish to avoid. That's where we get into games about the meaning of "is." There's no spirit, sell we go to the letter.

When you look at our society's changes in morality, a lot of it can be traced back to Supreme Court decisions on a whole range of subjects. Whether good or bad, it strikes me that these decisions are made by the legislature, where people have a voice, rather than by nine unelected justices. The Supreme Court should be guardians saying what the law says, not invalidating laws based on subjective interpretation and then looking for precedents later. It is de facto legislating. This is where Ruth Bader Ginsburg's recent public comments are instructive and helpful: she's not an impartial justice, she's a politician with a black robe. Lefties want their way by any means necessary, and the movement's divorce from morality and ethics has destroyed our institutions, and the popular faith in those institutions. Ginsburg just removed whatever veil of innocence that may have remained. Justice is not blind... Justices are blinded by their ideology, as championed by the monolithic politics of the country's elite law schools, where the "best and brightest" attend.since the early 20th century, these oracles have been saying the lawyers must remake and shape society by their own design. That's why our opinion does not count: we're too stupid to decide for ourselves. Another destructive end run around American republicanism by the cognitive elite.


Ares Olympus said...

Regarding: Seven out of 10 people polled by Gallup said merit, in the form of high school grades or test scores, should be the sole basis for admission to a University.

Interestingly high school GPA and school ranking allows a form of at least poverty-based affirmative action.

One family I know borrowed money from their parents to help send their oldest daughter to a competitive local private school where she was in the top 25% of her class and something like a 3.7 GPA, while if she had gone to the local urban public school full of immigrants and poorer families, she could have been a straight A student and made the top 1%.

I'm not sure if the daughter didn't get into the schools she wanted because of GPA, or if it was more about access to financial aid.

And college expenses clearly seems the bigger issue that admissions. Myself, I could never advocate going to a private college, no matter how many imaginary scholarships (i.e. tuition reductions) are offered.

I can't trust a world that demands debt slavery for access to a middle class.

There's a good reason why student loans can't be canceled by bankruptcy, but its the same reason that students shouldn't be signing their names to loans that they have no idea whether they'll pay for themselves or not.