Supreme Court effectively upholds CA affirmative-action ban

Supreme Court effectively upholds CA affirmative-action ban

Anthony_Kennedy_official_SCOTUS_portrait_2Today the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s ban on affirmative action. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote:

“There is no authority in the federal constitution or in the [courts’] precedents for the judiciary to set aside Michigan laws that commit to the voters the determination whether racial preferences may be considered in governmental decisions, in particular with respect to school admissions….

This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it.”

The decision involved an initiative Michigan voters passed that was similar to Proposition 209, which California voters passed in 1996. Prop. 209 was crafted to echo the civil rights legislation of the 1960s which banned racial discrimination. Unfortunately, since the 1960s affirmative action and other schemes have been used to bring back a racial spoils system.

Prop. 209’s language on the 1996 ballot read:

“Prohibits the state, local governments, districts, public universities, colleges, and schools, and other government instrumentalities from discriminating against or giving preferential treatment to any individual or group in public employment, public education, or public contracting on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.”

Opponents claim that past and current discrimination keep minorities from government jobs and college and university admissions places. Therefore, affirmative action, including quotas for minority members, is needed.

Affirmative action

In California, two recent events have shown the problems with affirmative action, and why a
“color blind” system is best, and most just.

Last month, Asian-American leaders in the California Legislature forced the Democratic leadership to back down on an attempt to reverse Prop. 209 and bring back racial quotas. The Asian-Americans saw that it would reduce the number of their kids in state colleges and universities.

And just yesterday, new admissions numbers showed that Hispanics this fall will outnumber whites among University of California freshmen. Asians will remain the top group. This showed that Hispanics can excel without the help of affirmative action.

The new numbers: 36.2 percent Asian-American, 28.8 percent Hispanic, 26.6 percent white, 4.4 percent black.

It’s true that Hispanics now make up about 50 percent of California high-school seniors; and blacks make up about 6 percent. So they are not going to UC at an equivalent rate. But the problem there, of course, is that so many schools Hispanics and blacks attend are among the worst in the state.

It doesn’t make sense to send to UC students who have not been properly educated by bad schools. It does make sense to raise standards, for example, by giving merit pay to the most effective treachers. But that particular reform still is resisted strongly by the teachers’ unions.

By effectively upholding Prop. 209, what today’s decision does is put the emphasis on helping Hispanic and black kids — and white and Asian-American kids as well — where it should be: on the schools.



Write a comment
  1. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 22 April, 2014, 17:54

    It was the right move. The fact is a 10% or smaller bump from UNDER privileged minorities (whites too) I do not have a problem with, but minorities from wealth always get the benefits of AA. That is wrong.

    Good call.

    My favorite justice on the SCOTUS right now is Sonia Sotomayor, had grave concerns about her when she was nominated, but now I am in her corner 100%, and the ONLY area I disagree with her on is this one, AA.

    Reply this comment
  2. Ted O'Steele, CEO
    Ted O'Steele, CEO 22 April, 2014, 18:34

    Of course it’s the right move– there is no more racism in America– sheesh.

    Reply this comment
  3. Queeg
    Queeg 22 April, 2014, 18:35

    The more Asians in college the better….Asians built the West…..they were whipped, starved, robbed, cheated and killed….they deserve the best California can offer.

    Any doomer who thinks otherwise is pathetic!

    Orange County would collapse without Asian talent…..

    Reply this comment
  4. Ted O'Steele, CEO
    Ted O'Steele, CEO 22 April, 2014, 18:35

    Poodle– your SCOTUS analysis is, as always, brilliant.

    Reply this comment
  5. Donkey
    Donkey 23 April, 2014, 07:02

    Let freedom ring! Now let’s see if the supremes will do anything to dismantle the PIC which is much more evil than AA. 🙂

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Pensions Dominate Supe Race

March 27, 2011 John Seiler: For Republicans, at least, the state and local pension crisis now dominates races. Those in

GOP vs. bullet train

Republicans in California no longer have much influence. But they still can exercise the bully pulpit. They did so last

CA public schools can’t charge students for parking

San Diego tech entrepreneur Michael Robertson is also a libertarian civic activist challenging government nuttiness and illegality. In a public