Tag: Affirmative action

A Scalia Smear

The Supreme Court, earlier this week, heard arguments in a case of whether affirmative action should be allowed in Texas Law schools. You may have heard about this because the entire Left Wing exploded into outrage over Scalia’s alleged racism:

Demonstrating once again that his reputation for cheap demagoguery has been well-earned, Senator Harry Reid this morning took a wild shot at Justice Antonin Scalia. “It is deeply disturbing,” Reid suggested, “to hear a Supreme Court justice endorse racist ideas from the bench of the nation’s highest court.”

What did Scalia say, precisely?

“There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less­ advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well,” he said. “One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas.”

That’s it. Scalia didn’t even advance the theory that admitting blacks to schools they are underqualified for only makes them struggle. He threw it out there as a discussion point to hear what the lawyers thought about it. You wouldn’t know this from the screaming headlines (the New York Daily News, which has completed its descent into pure Left Wing hysteria, had a screaming headline branding Scalia a racist).

Now there are reason to think that this theory is wrong. Recent studies have shown that black students admitted on affirmative action catch up quickly and have graduation rates similar to white students. However, others have argued that it keeps black students out of the more difficult subjects like science, where catching up is particularly difficult. This theory — not Scalia’s, but a common theory — is not far out of the mainstream at all. It’s been mentioned in prior SCOTUS decisions on this matter.

But this is a bit more dangerous than calling Scalia a racist. Alex Griswold

First of all, it’s worth noting that oral arguments are not an avenue for justices to share their views on the case at hand; it’s an opportunity to suss out any holes in the arguments of both parties. To that end, justices often advance arguments and theories they do not necessarily hold. Take for example Chief Justice John Roberts‘ extremely harsh questioning of government lawyers in NFIB v. Burwell, even though he eventually voted to uphold the individual mandate anyways.

Arguing before the Supreme Court is a notoriously nerve-wracking experience, since justices try to find arguments and lines of attack attorneys would never consider. In this case, the transcript make it clear that Scalia was asking a question about a theory put forward by others, not himself:

Scalia, in particular, has a tendency to play devil’s advocate. During the flag burning case, he asked if burning the flag could be banned by being considered fighting words. But he eventually decided with the majority to strike down the flag burning laws.

Charles Cooke, linked above, brings this home:

If we are to have a functioning justice system, we cannot hold lawyers personally responsible for the unpleasant parts of their designated roles. When a defense attorney successfully demonstrates that the prosecution’s case is too weak for a conviction, he is not betraying a preference for murder or rape or grievous bodily harm, he is ensuring that his client gets a fair shake. When a corporate counselor illustrates that a given statute is so badly written that it cannot be used to secure guilt, he is not endorsing whatever misconduct yielded the case in the first instance but upholding the rule of law. And when a Supreme Court justice pushes those before him to respond to the countervailing briefs — or offers whatever devil’s advocacy occurs to him on the spot — he is not pitching his own ideas but mediating a dispute. The day that we fail to understand this will be the day we give in to barbarism.

All too often these days we conflate principles with outcomes. Thus, to defend the free-speech rights of neo-Nazis is to be accused of endorsing their words. Thus, to protect the right to keep and bear arms is to be charged with complicity in its abuse. Thus, to oppose further government surveillance is to be lumped in with terrorists and hackers. During the 2013 Texas gubernatorial race, the Republican nominee offered the uncontroversial observation that, as attorney general, he was obliged to defend laws he personally opposed, and that this would have been the case during the 1960s, too. For this accurate appraisal of his professional responsibilities, his opponent labeled him a foe of interracial marriage. If this approach to government were to become quotidian, we would soon find ourselves living in a country ruled by men and not by law.

Raising points of law and discussion is Justice Scalia’s job. And … apparently … taking cheap shots at him is now the Democrat’s job.

The Elizabeth Warren debacle in MA.

In Massachusetts, where Elizabeth Warren is yet again running against Scott Brown for the seat vacated when Ted Kennedy was called to the matt to explain the Mary Jo Kopechne incident along with a slew of other such abhorrent things, there is a big brouhaha going on that seem to put the whole affirmative action movement into perspective. The gist of this unfolding scandal is that before Warren, and I should add her husband in a two-for deal, was hired by Harvard, she identified herself as a double minority – a female and a Native-American – but that distinction quickly vanished once she was part of the Harvard staff. The left has focused, as expected, on the angle that the issue is whether she had the right to claim that status or not.

At issue is that Warren is reputed to be, depending on how you break it down, 1/32 American Indian. Keep in mind that while some point out that this claim is based on a number that assumes that the ancestor she claims this minority status from had to be 100% Native, or the possibility that the Native-American was a second wife, a practice that was common back then, this is still not the focus discussion, even when this is exactly what the left hopes to make it. That argument they can win or use to distract from the bigger issue.

But Warren being Native-American or Native-American enough, is not what is at issue here: what is, is the thing that paints the whole Affirmative Action movement in a dark light, and that is the fact that Warren identified herself as Native-American while that served her career advancement purpose, but quickly dropped that once she got the Harvard hire. The story has morphed from the ludicrous “it was done by others, and not me” line off defense her campaign first tried to hide behind, to the even more insane and disgusting “I used it to make friends” meme, with the usual suspects in the LSM and academia working double time to make the absolutely unbelievable and stupid case that universities, the most diversity driven cesspools of affirmative action, in this classic affirmative action case did none of that, and that she was hired because she was just that awesome. That claim by Harvard and the many others is easily debunked by just looking at the facts.

What we have here is a case of a true believer, a collectivist twit of the highest order, gaming the affirmative action system, and who cares if she was doing it within the boundaries of what was allowed or not, and then pretending that the system isn’t a huge scam. That’s the big story. Warren got tenure at Harvard because she was a double whammy for their affirmative action compliance program, a woman and a Native-American collectivist to boot, and there is no argument the left can make to deny that. Then, when she had arrived, she conveniently dropped her Native-American bonafides because she didn’t need them out there anymore. After all, someone could then use those to point out she was an affirmative action hire. Of course, the admission that the system is rigged and totally abused isn’t something the left wants highlighted. I expect that amongst the intelligentsia in leftist politics and the LSM some will keep pretending, to the bitter end, that the mean right is just picking on this innocent woman – War on women! – while others, once the heat gets too close for comfort and endangers the whole AA scam by making people question how often this practice happens, will throw her under the bus, pretending to be offended that she gamed the system, as if the system isn’t constantly gamed and totally arbitrary, anyway.

We shouldn’t let the left’s credentialed elite get away with this and hammer home how stupid and worthless the whole AA scheme really is. Even in blue MA, I think, the revelation that the elite are abusing the system that’s supposed to provide social justice, thus providing nothing of the sort, will have consequences. If it causes this pseudo-marxist’s campaign to implode that’s good, but if it finally provides enough people with the knowledge of how insanely stupid and illogic the vile AA scheme is, and then undermines it’s credibility and helps us do away with the whole leftist scheme, it is even better. I wonder how many better qualified people, some even other Native-Americans got shafted because of Warren. No wonder Native-Americans are pissed at her while the LSM and the left, if you will pardon the expression, are circling the wagons.