In 2003, Sandra Day O’Conner (Herself, a beneficiary of affirmative action) cast the deciding vote in Grutter vs Bollinger and cemented racial discrimination as the law of the land.
In her ruling, she said “We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary.”
That is a mind-blowing statement coming from a Supreme Court Justice. To paraphrase: “This thing is constitutional now but won’t be in the future.” Talk about your living documents! Are there any other rights that fade in and out like that?
Now there is another case before the SCOTUS regarding AA.
Some of the back and forth looks really interesting:
Justice Thomas asked Ryan Park to describe the actual benefit of a diverse classroom.
Park responded that in studies involving stock trading results, “racially diverse groups of people … perform at a higher level.”
“The mechanism there is that it reduces groupthink and that people have longer and more sustained disagreement, and that leads to a more efficient outcome,” Park said.
Thomas responded, “I guess I don’t put much stock in that because I’ve heard similar arguments in favor of segregation, too.”
And then there was this exchange between Waxman and Roberts: (Waxman is the lawyer defending Harvard’s racial discrimination policies.)
- WAXMAN: No, I know. I’m –I’m attempting to answer your question.
There is no doubt that for –as the testimony showed, that for applicants who are essentially so strong on multiple dimensions, so extraordinarily strong on multiple dimensions that they are sort of on the bubble, that they might –they have a real candidate for admission, African American –being African American or being Hispanic or in some instances being Asian American can provide one of many, many tips that will put you in.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Well, people say that, yes, but you will have to concede, if it provides one of many, that in some cases it will be determinative.
- WAXMAN: I do. I do concede that.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Okay. So we’re talking about race as a determining factor in admission to Harvard.
Waxman tried to recover and said that “Race, for some highly qualified applicants can be the determinative factor, just as being, you know, an oboe player in a year in which the Harvard-Radcliffe orchestra needs an oboe player will be the tip,”
“We did not fight a Civil War about oboe players,” Roberts replied. “We did fight a Civil War to eliminate racial discrimination, and that’s why it’s a matter of considerable concern.”
It would seem that the 25 years Justice O’Conner was speaking of was not until society matured past the need for affirmative action (That will never happen as long as one group benefits at the expense of another.) but that it would take 25 years before we got a conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
It looks like it will be 19 years and not Sandy’s full 25.
Trump can mean tweet all he wants in return for this Supreme Court.