Obama Admin Against "Content of Character" for "Color of Skin"

Josh_R

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Jan 29, 2005
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#1
Justices to Revisit Race Issue
University of Texas Admissions Policy to Be Tested Before Reshaped High Court

By JESS BRAVIN


The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to revisit affirmative action in state-college admissions. Jess Bravin has details on The News Hub. Photo: AP

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to revisit affirmative action in state-college admissions, suggesting a 2003 ruling that narrowly permitted race-conscious policies in public higher education may face tough scrutiny from today's more conservative court.

The case comes from the University of Texas at Austin, which said it based its admissions policy on the 2003 precedent, Grutter v. Bollinger. In that case, involving the University of Michigan Law School, the court by a 5-4 vote held for the first time that racial diversity in higher education qualified as a compelling governmental interest. Such a state interest is essential when a government classifies individuals by race.

The UT policy includes consideration of race as part of a "holistic" evaluation of applicants who didn't qualify for admission through either superior academic performance or a plan that grants admission to the top 10% of graduates from each Texas high school. The policy was challenged by lead plaintiff Abigail Fisher, who was denied admission to the university after applying in 2008.

The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans agreed with the university, as did the trial judge in Austin, whose ruling observed that "as long as Grutter remains good law, UT's current admissions program remains constitutional."

But Grutter's longevity has been in doubt since its author, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, was succeeded by Justice Samuel Alito, who joined the court's four other conservatives in a 2007 ruling that forbade public-school districts from promoting diversity through race-conscious pupil-assignment plans.

Both sides view the current case, Fisher v. Texas, as a vehicle through which the high court could narrow or even overrule Justice O'Connor's opinion. The university urged the justices to avoid the case, seizing on what it said were procedural flaws. Among other factors, UT argued that the claim was moot because both Ms. Fisher and her co-plaintiff had since attended or graduated from other schools. Aside from abolishing the policy, Ms. Fisher has asked for only $100 in damages—her application fee and housing deposit.

Likewise, the Obama administration fought to squelch the case in the lower courts, taking the unusual step of filing a brief on the university's side at the Fifth Circuit.

The "university's effort to promote diversity is a paramount government objective," that brief said. "The question is not whether an individual belongs to a racial group, but rather how an individual's membership in any group may provide deeper understanding of the person's record and experiences, as well as the contribution she can make to the school."


Justice Elena Kagan, solicitor general when the Obama administration filed that brief, recused herself from the Fisher case, which is expected to be heard in the high court's 2012-13 term, beginning in October.

"I hope the [Supreme] Court will decide that all future UT applicants will be allowed to compete for admission without their race or ethnicity being a factor," Ms. Fisher said in a statement issued by the Project on Fair Representation, a Washington-based foundation that opposes race-conscious government actions and has underwritten her suit.

UT President William Powers said in a statement the school is committed to its admissions policy and will seek a decision reaffirming the educational benefits of diversity.

Texas has a rocky history of race in admissions. The state once enforced official segregation, and it took a 1950 Supreme Court ruling before the University of Texas would admit blacks to its law and graduate schools.

In more-recent decades, the state relied on affirmative action to boost minority enrollment, only to have that struck down by the Fifth Circuit in a 1996 decision, Hopwood v. Texas. The decision rolled back affirmative action in public universities within the Fifth Circuit's jurisdiction of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

To stem a decline in minority students, UT adopted the policy to admit the top 10% of graduates from each Texas high school, ensuring students from heavily black or Hispanic campuses could enroll.

After Grutter nullified the Hopwood ruling, UT reinstated consideration of race. Black enrollment doubled to 6%, and Hispanic enrollment rose to 20% from 13%, according to the district-court opinion.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203358704577237112218477648.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

The administration is actually arguing AGAINST judging people by the content of their character and their personal accomplishments as an individual, and instead they should be viewed as just a member of a larger group.

The "university's effort to promote diversity is a paramount government objective,"
Wow, I have read the Constitution a number of times and I must have missed the part where it says "promoting diversity" is a "paramount government objective".
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
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#3
Good, with Kagan having to recuse herself, might have a chance at a decent ruling. Unfortunately a split decision will mean it stands.
 

Josh_R

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Jan 29, 2005
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#4
Good, with Kagan having to recuse herself, might have a chance at a decent ruling. Unfortunately a split decision will mean it stands.
Yeah. I really wish she had to recuse on Obamacare, too.

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request for debate over whether Justice Elena Kagan should recuse herself from the health care reform case due to be argued in March.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71819.html#ixzz1n4HUshNL
 

Lord Zero

Viciously Silly
Aug 25, 2008
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The administration is actually arguing AGAINST judging people by the content of their character and their personal accomplishments as an individual, and instead they should be viewed as just a member of a larger group.
The Left prefers collectivism over individualism. The Right does too, to a slightly lesser degree.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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Mar 30, 2006
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#8
Probably. Not sure exactly what the guidelines are for recusal and if the actions of a spouse is among those rules.
There are none. It's a manufactured cover for Kagan's illegal non-recusal. It gives their side something to bring up with absolutely no precedent or ethics law to back it up.
 

Josh_R

Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
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Akron, Ohio
#9
There are none. It's a manufactured cover for Kagan's illegal non-recusal. It gives their side something to bring up with absolutely no precedent or ethics law to back it up.
I did not know that.

Washington (CNN) -- The Supreme Court has rejected congressional calls for the justices to adhere officially to the same ethics rules binding on other federal judges, including when to recuse in cases involving possible conflicts of interest.
"The Court does not plan to adopt the Code of Conduct for United States Judges through a formal resolution," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in a letter released Tuesday to Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.
But Roberts said he and his eight colleagues would -- on their own initiative -- continue to follow the same rules as other judges when it comes to accepting and reporting on outside income, honoraria, and gifts.
Unlike other members of the federal judiciary, Supreme Court justices decide for themselves whether a conflict of interest exists, requiring disqualification. Like other judges, they file yearly disclosure reports on their financial investments, travels, and any money earned from such things as writing books, giving speeches or teaching.