I don’t think anything will top the Supreme Court’s last term, where Roe v. Wade was overturned in favor of the Dobbs decision. Still, the fairly new conservative block on the court may just be getting started.
Wailing and gnashing of teeth commenced on Tuesday during oral arguments over whether college admissions can discriminate on the bias of race, i.e. affirmative action. All of the conservative justices expressed deep skepticism of the legality of such schemes.
Conservative-leaning members of the Supreme Court expressed a high degree of skepticism toward race-conscious admissions practices as lawyers for both universities presented their arguments. Justice Brett Kavanaugh said that such policies are “potentially dangerous and must have a logical end point,” while Justice Amy Coney Barrett asked attorneys for the University of North Carolina when the “sunset” for the policies can be expected. Justice Clarence Thomas said that he has “heard the word ‘diversity’ quite a few times” and does not “have a clue what it means.”
“College admissions are a zero-sum game,” Justice Samuel Alito added, according to a report from Reuters. “And if you give a ‘plus’ to a person who falls within the category of under-represented minority, but not to somebody else, then you are disadvantaging the other student.”
Numerous studies have indeed highlighted the disadvantages faced by Asian-Americans in college admissions processes seeking to reserve places for black and Hispanic students. One study from 2009 concluded that Asians required an SAT score approximately 140 points higher than white applicants, 270 points higher than Hispanic applicants, and 450 points higher than black applicants, according to a report from the Asian American Coalition for Education.
That the primary victims here of these college schemes are Asian has complicated the narrative for the left. They’d love to be able to spin this as a white vs. black thing, but it’s not. Asians are at an extreme disadvantage in college admissions into highly-rated and ivy-league schools. Needing an SAT score 450 points higher than a black applicant is just insanely unfair. It’s also clearly racial discrimination.
At UNC specifically, one of the colleges involved in the lawsuit, the numbers are lower but still skewed nonetheless.
One of the little-spoken facts about Justice Kentaji Brown Jackson is that she’s just not an impressive jurist. She talks a ton (by far the most vocal justice in this term), but rarely says anything profound and often makes mistakes. Seeing admissions broken down by SAT scores and then seeing the clear racial disparity isn’t enough for her to see how race factors in. Would she say the same thing if the tables were turned? Of course, she wouldn’t, because Jackson operates from a position of heavy partisanship. She sees an outcome she wants and twists herself toward that outcome instead of taking a neutral view of the facts.
Meanwhile, Justice Sonia Sotomayor continues to do Sotomayor things.
“De jure” means that someone has a right to something. Sotomayor is essentially saying that segregation is a right in her comment. What she meant to say was “de facto,” but I digress, we already know she’s not that bright.
Here’s the game the left wants to play with affirmative action. On the one hand, they want to argue it isn’t happening, which is one of the chief defenses being offered at the Supreme Court right now. On the other hand, they want to argue that it’s the greatest, most effective program in history. It’s the same “have it both ways” logic applied to Critical Race Theory in schools. The convolution is the point, and fewer and fewer people are buying it these days.
Suffice it to say, the usual suspects have been losing their minds since the oral arguments. I won’t give them exposure here, but one works for Slate (and is the worst legal analyst in existence) while the other is a regular on Joy Reid’s MSNBC dumpster fire. You can look up their Twitter feeds if you want a good laugh.
In the end, the Supreme Court is showing a return to ruling based on the plain letter of the law instead of pushing for preferred outcomes. Affirmative action is quite obviously illegal on its face, and the idea that constitutional protections only apply to certain races is ludicrous.