Thirteen years to the day after the Supreme Court said “[w]e expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences [in university admissions] will no longer be necessary,” the Court on Thursday paved the way for perpetuating such preferences for many decades, perhaps centuries. Unless the next two Supreme Court appointees are strong opponents of racial preferences — a most unlikely prospect — the Court’s role since the 1978 Regents of the University of California v. Bakke decision as a modest restraint on use of such preferences is at an end. To be sure, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion for […]
Now that the Supreme Court has blessed racial preferences, universities should be transparent about the costs and benefits to intended beneficiaries. By making clear that racial affirmative-action preferences in higher-education admissions are likely to have the Supreme Court’s blessing for many decades to come, the Court might—just might—have set the stage for a more candid and constructive public discussion about how to make preferences work more effectively for the intended beneficiaries. The June 23 decision should end the siege mentality among defenders of racial preferences—and that, in turn, should lead to much-needed transparency and honesty about the costs as well […]
Last week, a California judge sentenced former Stanford University swimmer Brock Allen Turner to six months in jail for a horrifying sexual assault on an unconscious, alcohol-impaired woman. The resulting uproar over the sentence’s undue leniency risks missing the most important lesson of the case. Contrary to campus conventional wisdom, the Turner case shows that the best way to deal with a campus sexual assault problem is to rely on law enforcement professionals to protect women and to pursue justice, not on campus disciplinary systems run by amateur sex bureaucrats. The backlash against Turner’s sentence is being exploited by a […]
We should heed closely what Donald Trump has been saying about U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel of San Diego—perhaps more so than anything else he has said or done to date. The prospect that a President Trump might defy the judiciary and the rule of law, together with his vows to violate international treaties and his disrespect for domestic laws, may make him the most dangerous candidate in American history. There are so many things to deplore about Trump’s recent attacks on Curiel it is difficult to know where to begin. Trump has asserted that Curiel is unfit to hear […]
Imagine the following case: Two recent college grads meet in a bar, talk, begin kissing, and go to her apartment. After a little more talking, they resume kissing there. He undresses her and initiates sexual intercourse. She neither objects nor resists. He leaves, and they have no further contact. A month later, she files a criminal complaint with police, complaining that this was rape because she never expressed verbal consent and was physically passive. Under the law as it has been from time immemorial, the woman’s complaint would be rejected because her failure to say no or resist would be […]
I covered the confirmation hearings in 1991. HBO’s movie heavily edits history to favor Anita Hill. The current battle over President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland is child’s play compared with the lurid brawl over George H.W. Bush’s nomination of Clarence Thomas 25 years ago. On Saturday, HBO marked the quarter-century anniversary with “Confirmation,” a retelling of how Judge Thomas, a conservative, up-from-poverty black jurist from Pinpoint, Ga., saw his nomination nearly derailed by allegations of sexual harassment made by Anita Hill, a black attorney who had worked for him 10 years earlier. Ms. Hill’s calm, graphic testimony during the three-day hearing on her charges […]
If President Obama — or his successor — replaces the late Justice Antonin Scalia with a strong liberal, the Supreme Court’s balance will swing dramatically to the left in the coming years. It might well be the biggest ideological swing in recent memory.
Justice Antonin Scalia ‘s dreadfully worded comments last week during oral argument about racial preferences in college admissions understandably offended many people. But what he was obviously trying to say made an important point that had nothing to do with racism — a charge hurled at Scalia by people including Harry Reid, the Senate Democratic leader, who once again wallowed in shameless demagoguery.
When it comes to due process on campus, Republicans in Congress, who campaigned on vows to rein in the Obama administration’s abuses of executive power, have largely acquiesced in its bureaucratic imposition of quasi-judicial tyranny. For more than four years, the White House and the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) have used an implausible reinterpretation of a 1972 civil-rights law to impose mandates unimagined by the law’s sponsors. It has forced almost all of the nation’s universities and colleges to disregard due process in disciplinary proceedings when they involve allegations of sexual assault. Enforced by officials far outside […]
In an Oxford-style Intelligence Squared debate held on December 3, 2015, Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity and I argued for the proposition that “The Equal Protection Clause forbids racial preferences in state university admissions.” You can watch video of the debate at IntelligenceSquaredUs.org or via Intelligence Squared’s YouTube channel. The transcript may be read online at IntelligenceSquaredUS.org.