Who Were the Deplorables of the Week?
Plus: Affirmative Action's expiration date
Big if true. Via the Independent: “Trump indictment: Prosecutors are prepared to hit Trump and his allies with new charges, sources say.”
Via the Bulwark: “Giuliani’s Sit-Down With Jack Smith Is Bad News for Trump.”
This won’t be a problem, will it? “Trump aide who allegedly saw classified map works for lobbying firm that serves China.”
A few thoughts on yesterday’s SCOTUS decision on affirmative action.
First, the 6-3 ruling was hardly unexpected. The Court itself has signaled that race-based admissions policies came with an expiration date. In its 2003 Grutter decision, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote: “The Court expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.” The sunset came a few years early. “Twenty years have passed since Grutter,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “with no end to race-based college admissions in sight.”
Second, the political fall-out will be very different from Dobbs. The folks at the Liberal Patriot write:
The Court’s ruling today is entirely consistent with the views of an overwhelming majority of Americans—including a plurality of black Americans—who think that colleges and universities should not be allowed to consider an applicant’s race at all in admissions decisions.
Opposition to affirmative action is broad and deep:
White Americans (71 percent) and Hispanic Americans (57 percent) overwhelmingly oppose the use of race in admissions, as do two-thirds of political independents, two-thirds of moderates, and more than 8 in 10 Republicans. Equal percentages of men (64 percent) and women (65 percent) oppose race-based policies, as do majorities of all age groups (with opposition growing by age) and all income-level groups.
Notably, given perceived partisan and racial divisions on the issue, pluralities of black Americans (47 percent), Democrats (48 percent), political liberals (46 percent), and Biden voters (46 percent) also oppose the consideration of racial background in college admissions.
A key data point: In 2020, California voters decisively rejected a proposal to repeal the state’s ban on preferential treatment based on race.
A "no" vote opposed this constitutional amendment, thereby keeping Proposition 209 (1996), which stated that the government and public institutions cannot discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to persons on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, public education, and public contracting.
The vote was not close. The move to repeal the ban on racial preferences lost by more than 2.4 million votes in California — on the same day that Biden won by nearly 20 points — and more than 5 million votes.
In freaking California.
Which brings us back to the case involving Harvard and UNC. Even liberals had become squeamish about the use of racial identity in admissions. In the 1920s, Harvard was among the schools to impose a “Jewish quota,” limiting Jews to 15 percent of the student body. “It’s worth remembering that, from the perspective of Harvard’s then-leaders,” writes UCLA economist and law professor Richard Sander, “Jews were still quite ‘overrepresented’ on the campus and were being treated generously.”
That is very much the attitude of Harvard’s current leaders toward Asian-Americans. Americans of Chinese, Korean, Pakistani, Vietnamese, and other Asian descent are all welcome at Harvard, but they are viewed as having a regrettable tendency toward over-achievement and of threatening to crowd out other students if their numbers are not consciously curtailed.
This policy is carried out in a variety of ways, including giving negative weight to Asian applicant performance and having admissions officers give dramatically lower interview ratings to Asian-American applicants than Harvard’s own alumni give the same students in interviews. By Harvard’s own internal analysis, it’s clear that Asian-Americans would make up around 30 percent of the student body in a race-neutral process, but they are limited to around 18-20 percent of the student body. This is every bit as appalling and illiberal as the old Jewish quota.
So, what now? Via The Liberal Patriot:
Rather than just bemoan the ruling, American institutions and political parties should move to develop constitutionally valid, “class-based equality” measures in higher education to assist those Americans of all backgrounds—in all parts of the country—who lack the opportunities and resources necessary to make it to college and succeed.
What should Biden do? Richard Kahlenberg has some thoughts:
First, he should encourage universities to voluntarily change admissions in a number of ways that will increase fairness overall as well as boost economic and racial diversity. As civil rights attorney John Brittain and I outlined in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education last November, universities can take a host of steps above and beyond providing special consideration to economically disadvantaged students. Colleges should be encouraged to increase community college transfers, for instance, and shift money from non-need merit aid to those who actually need the funds.
Second, Biden should announce a number of public policy proposals that will ease the transition from racial preferences to those for economically disadvantaged students for universities. Most obviously, Biden should propose greater federal financial support for impressive working-class students of all races who have overcome odds…
Today’s Bulwark has dueling opinions on the ruling.
Linda Chavez writes: “Affirmative Action Ruling: Actually a Win for Minority Students.”
Trump’s Bravado Defense
Charging Trump for Jan 6 just got meaningfully harder after a Supreme Court ruling that has nothing to do with storming the Capitol. Plus, Rudy was Queen for a Day, John Eastman loses in a big way, and the end of affirmative action in higher ed. Ben Wittes is back with me for The Trump Trials.
Also, make sure to check out this coming attraction: “TRAILER The Bulwark Podcast Presents: The Corruption of Lindsey Graham.”
Will Saletan has a story to tell: It’s about what’s happened to the United States since Donald Trump began his rise to power eight years ago.
This special summer podcast series will explain what happened to Graham, and how the story of his gradual corruption can help us to understand how an entire political party, and half of our country, fell under the sway of a candidate, and then a president, who openly attacks democracy, the Constitution, and the rule of law. “The Corruption of Lindsey Graham” starts July 3.
Deplorables of the Week
Quick reminder that there are certain candidates who are generally ineligible because they are just so thoroughly deplorable — folks like MTG and Trump — who would dominate the list every damn week if we let them. So herewith is our admittedly incomplete weekly list of the worst of the rest: