June 24, 2010

Discrimination in Texas

By Discrimination in Texas

Author: Joshua Thompson

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has set August 3 for oral argument in Fisher v. State of Texas.  Fisher deals with the University of Texas' race-conscious admissions program.  The oral argument will be held in New Orleans, and I recently published an op-ed on the case in Louisiana.  Here's a snippet:

The question before the Fifth Circuit: Does the Grutter precedent sanction this unnecessary indulgence in unequal treatment? It does not. That said, Grutter did go too far in permitting university officials to obsess about students' race. If the Texas case reaches the Supreme Court — a real possibility — the justices should take the opportunity for a course correction, away from Grutter's assertion that public universities have a "compelling interest" in promoting diversity.

First, the diversity concept fails the logic test. It is based on the faulty assumption that students can be defined by pigmentation. In the real world, shared skin color does not ensure shared backgrounds, experiences or perspectives. Declaring diversity a "compelling interest" also treats individuals unfairly, to the extent it allows preference policies in some settings. When race is used as a "plus factor" for one university applicant, by definition it is a "minus factor" for students of a different color.

You can read the whole thing here.  More on the case here and here.

What to read next