Law professor Richard Sander did something “controversial.” He presented inconvenient facts and statistics. He measured what anyone of reasonable intelligence can perceive with their own senses.
Sander conducted research on “affirmative action,” a euphemism for a racial preferences policy in which schools lower admissions standards to accept more black students, since black students tend to score lower than others, including Hispanics, on standardized tests like the SAT, GRE, and the LSAT.
Schools across the country discriminate against individuals on the basis of race because of these disparities.
Sander revealed that racial preferences result in a “mismatch” effect that hurts black students. They would perform better in schools that matched their academic levels and aptitude. Rather than getting into an elite school with scores and grades lower than other classmates to increase “diversity,” for example, these students could attend less competitive schools and achieve better grades (and experience less stress).
(Sander co-wrote Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It with Stuart Taylor.)
But liberals know better. It’s all about appearances. Despite the goal to “fix” past discrimination, racial preference policies are discriminatory, and the practice is more abhorrent when taxpayer-supported schools do it. Admissions committees use artful techniques to essentially reject a qualified applicant because of the color of his skin in favor of a lesser qualified applicant because of the color of his skin.
If we’re a country that’s decided racial discrimination is wrong, we have to apply that belief and practice across the board. If racial discrimination against a black applicant is wrong, racial discrimination against a white applicant is wrong.
Former president Barack Obama, like most liberals, supports government-sanctioned racial discrimination. Through executive action, he encouraged schools, including those supported by American taxpayers, to use race as a factor in admissions. That means race is also a factor in rejections.
Unfortunately, he had the U.S. Supreme Court to back him up. The court ruled in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) that undergraduate schools may use race as a “plus” factor in admissions.
But the Trump administration has reversed the former president’s actions, though the Grutter ruling stands. From Fox News:
The Trump administration contends that the Obama-era guidelines go far beyond what the Supreme Court has decided on in regard to affirmative action. The court has ruled that colleges and universities can use affirmative action to help minority students get into school, but conservatives over the years have argued that these programs hurt the chances of white and Asian-American applicants.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited “improper rulemaking.” He said, “The American people deserve to have their voices heard and a government that is accountable to them. When issuing regulations, federal agencies must abide by constitutional principles and follow the rules set forth by Congress and the President. In previous administrations, however, agencies often tried to impose new rules on the American people without any public notice or comment period, simply by sending a letter or posting a guidance document on a website. That’s wrong, and it’s not good government.”
The Trump administration “could just be rescinding the Obama-era polices,” Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, told Fox News. “But it could also change how past Supreme Court decisions are interpreted and say that schools can’t rely just on race and need to present other ways of achieving their diversity goals.”
The practice of discriminating against individuals in schools to achieve some magic level of “diversity” is one more reason why President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick is important.