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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Affirmative Action 3

If I understand the PBS news description of it, the court ruling in Fisher v UT Austin yesterday says the following:

They overturned the circuit court decision supporting UT and supported Fisher's claim which was that she was wronged by UT's affirmative action against her - she is white.

They went on to say:
1.  Yes racial diversity is a compelling government interest so affirmative action lives.
2.   Yes UT can use AA, but the circuit court should have used a "strict scrutiny" test to support it.
3.   Which means, UT can use race as a factor in admissions only if there is no other way to obtain diversity.

Which means that affirmative action lives, but it will be harder to use.

Over the past 50 years I have supported AA reluctantly, then strongly, then more reluctantly.   At this point the question in my mind is how long should it continue.  In 2003 Justice O'Connor suggested that in 25 years we would no longer need affirmative action.  That sounds about right.  Three years ago I suggested that perhaps we should replace racial AA with an AA program based on class - i.e. giving advantage to those who come from poor families.

I like this decision.  It means that we are moving slowly in the right direction.


  1. 1. I like the decision because it is a step in the right direction.
    2. I do not like the decision because it is only a small step in the right direction.
    3. I have always been in favor of non discrimination based on race, color creed, or gender.
    4. I have never been in favor of affirmative action.
    5. I do not like the decision because while I see diversity as beneficial and desirable I do not see it as a compelling government interest.
    6. I am in favor of any private enterprise or private organization being allowed to seek any level of diversity or lack of diversity they wish based on any criteria they wish.
    7.I have never been in favor of allowing (much less insisting on) diversity goals based on race, economic status, gender, creed, sexual orientation or any other criteria for any government entity or any entity receiving government funds at any level or amount.

    One final note on diversity: If an individual insists that diversity is a compelling interest in the development of young minds in a university setting I would suggest that intellectual integrity would demand that that individual would reject the lack of diversity in a child rearing situation. I.e. 2 parents of the same gender would be an unacceptable influence on a young mind.


  2. Diversity as an argument for two sex parenting is a very interesting idea.

    Prediction: The response (if any) will be: Oh no. That is not what diversity means.