Friday, July 01, 2011

6th Circuit: Refusal to consider race unduly burdens minorities in collecge admissions

In a decision that makes one stop and wonder, 6th Circuit in Coalition to Defend Affirmative v. Regents of the University of Michigan has come it with quite the opinion.

The 6th Circuit panel has held that Michigan's Proposal 2, that ended affirmative action in Universities by refusing to allow the race of an applicant to be considered is an undue burden on minorities by not allowing their race to be considered in college admissions.

Orwell would be proud.

Proposal 2 targets a program [affirmative action] that
“inures primarily to the benefit of the minority” and reorders the political process in Michigan in such a way as to place “special burdens” on racial minorities....We therefore find that the race-conscious admissions policies now barred by Proposal 2 inure primarily to the benefit of racial minorities and that Proposal 2, insofar as it prohibits consideration of applicants’ race in admissions decisions, has a “racial focus.”

Under this analysis, affirmative action can necessarily never end as its absence will end a program that benefits minorities. Affirmative action is a one-way ratchet according to this panel of the Sixth Circuit.

The court then heads way off into left field and holds that the ending of affirmative action reorders the political process in a manner that unduly burdens minorities because it prevent public university boards from using affirmative action without arranging for a change in the constitution to permit such racial discrimination.
By amending Michigan’s Constitution to prohibit university admissions units from utilizing race-conscious admissions policies, proponents of Proposal 2 thus removed the authority to institute racially-focused policies from Michigan’s universities and lodged it at the most remote level of Michigan’s government, the state constitution.

Constitutionally enshrining a non-discrimination policy on the basis of race is, according to the court, discriminatory.

I know this decisions is heavily outcome-determinative [both judges were Clinton appointees, the one dissent on the panel was a G.W. Bush appointee), but did the judges draft this tautological and fallacious reasoning with a straight face?

Expect this one to go to the 6th Circuit en-banc and most probably to the Supreme Court.


Murphy's Law said...

This Supreme Court may well take a case like this up. Just pray that Obama doesn't get to nominate another Justice before it does.

Expatriate Owl said...

At least the case was decided by the 6th Circuit! I shudder to imagine what the 9th Circus would have done to this case.

In the event that the Supremes uphold this, then if they want race to be considered, then race can be considered!

But, in setting the quotas, the population numbers (and therefore, what constitutes a proportionately representative student body at the university) for ALL races should be adjusted by backing out the numbers attributable to out-of-wedlock births in the race, and setting the quotas as though the race's population were all of legitmately birth.