The Fisher oral argument: Race-neutral alternatives
Next week, in Fisher v. University of Texas, the Supreme Court will consider whether the university’s admissions policies and procedures which grant preferences to students of certain races and ethnic backgrounds violate the Equal Protection Clause.
Colleges grant racial preferences in admissions to increase the enrollment of minority students. Colleges that do so claim the policies are required to remedy past discrimination, or to ensure a diverse student population. It is debatable whether these interests – as important as they may be – can justify government racial classifications that ultimately result in discrimination against students of the non-preferred race. These policies may even result in academic mismatch, and harm the very students they are intended to benefit. Putting that debate aside, another important question is whether race-conscious admissions policies are necessary at all.
A new report, by the Richard Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, indicates that states employing race-neutral policies have been largely successful in increasing minority enrollment. Kahlenberg found that most colleges that used only race-neutral alternatives produced as much diversity as policies that considered race. An article summarizing the report can be found here.
What to read next
Shed a (crocodile) tear for Luke Skywalker today, as Mark Hamill’s much ballyhooed Autograph Law is set to be undone and reformed by the same California officials who made the mistake to pass it in the first place. AB 228 has arrived at the Governor’s desk, and in all likelihood will be signed into law any day.
Our new flagship publication, Sword&Scales, offers 16 pages of news and information to bring you up close to the vital work of our legal team. Our ardent defense of the right to own and use private property takes center stage in the inaugural issue. It’s at the core of our mission in the nation’s courts.
On Thursday, in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, PLF filed this reply brief in support of its cert petition to the Supreme Court of the United States. In this case, we’re representing Minnesota voters in a First Amendment challenge to a ban on political apparel at polling places.
The Daily Journal published my column on California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland, recently decided by the California Supreme Court. As the op-ed points out, the ruling undermines Proposition 218’s requirements that all new taxes at the local level need voter approval.