The Affirmative-Action Decision

Thoughts from Gail Heriot and Glenn Reynolds. And some reactions from Manhattan Institute scholars.

[Update a while later]

Clarence Thomas versus affirmative-action hire Ketanji Brown Jackson.

[Friday-morning update]

Jackson’s dissent is an argument for institutional racism. And she wasn’t happy with Thomas.

[Late-morning update]

Sorry, link is fixed on the institutional-racism thing.

14 thoughts on “The Affirmative-Action Decision”

  1. From Thomas’s concurring opinion re: KBJ
    “JUSTICE JACKSON then builds from her faulty premise to call for action, arguing that courts should defer to ‘experts’ and allow institutions to discriminate on the basis of race,” Thomas continued. “Make no mistake: Her dissent is not a vanguard of the innocent and helpless. It is instead a call to empower privileged elites, who will ‘tell us [what] is required to level the playing field’ among castes and classifications that they alone can divine. […] Then, after siloing us all into racial castes and pitting those castes against each other, the dissent somehow believes that we will be able—at some undefined point—to “march forward together” into some utopian vision.”

    Sounds a lot like Marxism doesn’t it?

    1. There are only a few living people I find truly awe-inspiring. Clarence Thomas competes with only one other for the number 1 position on my list.

      1. When you look at Thomas’s long history and his friendship with Thomas Sowell, and his cutting focus on liberal racism, Katenji Brown Jackson lobbed a soft one over the plate and Thomas was ready to knock it over the bleachers.

        I tried following the logic in KBJ’s argument, but couldn’t really find any. It was wailing and emoting, flipping race cards right and left, full of empty phrases, smears, and stereotypes. It was not thought, it was idiotic racial ideology. She is an embarrassment, and quite likely one of the least intelligent or prepared justices the court has ever had. Even her staff is incompetent, citing a debunked figure that black babies are twice as likely to survive if their delivery doctor is black, when the real study said it was 99.6% vs 99.2%, within the studies margin of error.

        Also today the Supreme Court issued some more 6-3 rulings, one smacking down Biden’s student loan forgiveness and one supporting a web-designers right not to make a website for a gay wedding.

        I will enjoy reading them later.

    1. I predict, sadly, that the decision will decimate the Native American population. They had been by far the fastest growing racial group in the US, as millions of white students tried Elizabeth Warren’s trick of claiming Native American ancestry as a way to game the racial admissions system. Now those kids will go back to being white, and thus millions of Native Americans will simply disappear.

      Perhaps future demographers will try to blame their elimination on long Covid.

  2. Wholistic standards will empower us to continue and advance our commitment to equity for marginalized communities. – The Management

    1. The decision warned them against that, and advised that citing a dissenting opinion does not win in court. If a university does try a workaround, it will show up in the statistics, and there will certainly be aggrieved parties with standing who will sue. They can put the university’s entire admissions process under a microscope, and defending the details of the workaround system in court will cost a fortune and likely fail.

      The safest play for a university is to go with a very simple set of metrics, combining ACT/SAT scores and GPA, perhaps weighed by school district spending and parental income, with some allowances for athletes.

      If universities are going to be held to the statistical results of their admissions process, then it calls into question all their elaborate schemes of considering extra-curricular activities, community service work, and whatever other BS students were claiming.

      Those were all ways for a university to skew their admissions in ways that were contrary to the country’s “IQ demographics”, given the slice of the population they serve (elite Ivy, top tier, state university, community college). If their admissions should result in a student body that reflects that actual demographics, lest they get sued, then only a trivial simple scheme of test scores is needed, as that should produce the expected result.

      1. I would prefer that the ‘elite’ academic institutions among us, first require the prospective applicant have completed a two to three year course and secured a master’s license in a major trade, medical technology, or have earned an associates degree in business and accounting after high school. Like the bygone days when the military promoted the officer corps from within the non-commissioned ranks.

        1. I was filling out some forms earlier and it must’ve stuck in my automatic selections.

          I’m told the middle name is from Lt Gen Lesley McNair, who was killed in 1944, via my uncle having served under Patton.

  3. If nothing else, the decision has provided ample opportunity for liberals to beclown themselves.

    Heck, I just had this fun interaction:


    Our skepticism is not about the capabilities or potential of Black people, our skepticism is about the design of the system for admissions and its ability to recognize talent and potential in non-traditional ways.

    Exactly what is a “non-traditional way” of showing academic competence? Do we weigh math scores against being able to huff a giant bong? In all modern and modernizing countries, on any continent, the “non-traditional way” to excel has been academic achievement, same as here.

    And shouldn’t white students also be admitted to Harvard and Yale using non-traditional metrics, such as winning bass fishing tournaments or dominating a bowling league?

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