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To Quota or Not to Quota? Gratz v Bollinger AND Grutter v Bollinger

Wannaplan?

Galactic Superstar
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The Supreme Court hears opening arguments today on the lawsuits brought against the University of Michigan for their admissions policies.

For more information:

http://www.umich.edu/~urel/admissions/new/

I wholeheartedly stand with the University of Michigan and their admissions policies.

What do others think?
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
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Well....

Coming from someone who has been affirmatively acted upon twice, I'm completely against any type of affirmative action and believe jobs, school acceptance, Marine Corps Officer Candidate School :( , etc should be based on performance, not ethnic background.

But...I have a biased opinion I guess.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
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I think that people have to realize that life is not fair. According to that site, there are 5000 applications for 350 spaces in the Law School. Chances are that well over 350 of them have GPAs between 3.75 and 4. Which means that they have to look at other factors, some of them non-acedemic.

Some colleges give more preference to students with parents who are Alumni. Is it fair that someone is eliminated because mommy and daddy didn't go to that school? Same with donors. Students of large contrubutors to the school are more likely to get in afterall would you turn away the son of the guy who contributed 1 million for the new library? Look at student athletes. I would say 50-60 percent of football and basketball players would have never made it into the school on acedemic record alone, yet they are admitted because they will bring the school millions of dollars in revenue.
 

gkmo62u

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Sorry Bean, on this one of course I have to disagree. There are no benefits derived from diversity that outweigh a decision based on merit and performance.

We need to strive for a color-blind society, "each man, to the best of their ability"

Race based quotas stand frimly in the way of this acheivement.
 

biscuit

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While there is no doubt that minorities are at a disadvantage in society, I find there to be something undemocratic with quota systems. I curious as to why these institutions do not take socio-economic factors such as family income, neighborhood violence, etc..., all better indicators of educational achievment than race, into consideration.
 

The Irish One

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why these institutions do not take socio-economic factors such as family income, neighborhood violence, etc..., all better indicators of educational achievment than race, into consideration

because there are more poor white people than any other minority, so the system ,once again, would benefit whites. -heard this on c-span the other night.
 

biscuit

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The Irish one said:



because there are more poor white people than any other minority, so the system ,once again, would benefit whites. -heard this on c-span the other night.
So does that not mean that schools who give preferances based on race but not on economics and environment are being racist against minorties by suggestion that it is their race and not their lack of economic opportunity that prevents admission by tradional merit-based means. But in the present political climate I suppose you couldn't base preferance on socio-economic factors without many in the higher income brackets screaming "class-warfare!".

I'm not suggesting that race shouldn't be a factor, it should be considered, however, I still dislike the idea of quotas as a solution to the problem.
 

Wannaplan?

Galactic Superstar
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gkmo62u said:
We need to strive for a color-blind society, "each man, to the best of their ability"
Do we now have a "color-blind" society, and if not, how do we achieve one?
 

The Irish One

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schools who give preferances based on race but not on economics and environment are being racist against minorties by suggestion that it is their race and not their lack of economic opportunity that prevents admission by tradional merit-based means.
Exactly -do you want to get into a University because the system recognizes you're poor and/or a minority? Most of the brown people I know (1st generation immigrants who ran across the San Ysidro border) want to be judged on performance and nothing else.

edit: I forgot to include women
 
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Seabishop

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The bigger question is how to fix the public education sytems of urban america. If urban school systems weren't so segregated and under-performing, affirmative action wouldn't be an issue. Despite all the gains in civil rights, schools are still as segregated as ever.

I used to think vouchers were a bad idea, but a recent study by an economist (can't remember who or where) showed that giving families choices in schools would remove the main barrier to neighborhood revitalization in depressed urban areas.

There's so much resistance to any sort of change to the public school system. My wife used to teach and still gets the teachers union propaganda newsletter. I agree that many teachers are underpaid, but the unions won't endorse anything that implies any change, especially anthing that requires any effort on their part.
 

gkmo62u

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No Beaner you are right we do not have a color blind society. But I attribute that fact in part to affirmative action, race based quotas, set asides etc...

I just don't think that the fight against racism should include racism as a tool.
 

Wannaplan?

Galactic Superstar
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gkmo62u said:
I just don't think that the fight against racism should include racism as a tool.
In the case of the undergraduate case against the U of M (Gratz v Bollinger), then is awarding 20 points, out of a possible 150 total points available for admission, to an individual from an under-represented minority group an act of racism?
 

Wannaplan?

Galactic Superstar
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The Irish one said:
it could be seen as racist towards anyone who is qualified regardless of their race -
How do you mean?

How is awarding 20 points to an under-represented minority considered racist? There are other criteria, besides race, too. The only way awarding these 20 points to a minority could be considered racist, in my mind, is if race were the only criteria for consideration.
 

The Irish One

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just comes back to quotas and fullfilling them -how many of what under represented minority does the school want? and will students be turned away because race is a factor in the admissions process. Will over represented majoritiy students be admitted because there aren't enough under rep. minorities applying, or for that matter, qualifying? There are a million scenarios to go through for individual situations.

I have a buddy who went to UM Law and he took the 20 point deal. His parents are loaded, he received top notch assistance through high school and college through the help of his parents. He didn't need those points to get into law school. He's a minority. Did somebody equally qualified not get in because he could take the 20 points?

I was visiting my sister at Berkeley. I was 16 yrs old and I would hang out with her room mate -a girl named Stephanie, who was from Oakland. Turns out that I understood basic Algebra better than her , and I suck at math -she was a sophmore.
 

Greenescapist

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I support affirmative action in general and think that universities should have the right to adjust their standards in order to achieve a certain goal--- a diverse educational community. UM's system is not a quota system, it just awards a few points to underrepresented individuals' applications. After all, isn't this the same thing all institutions do to get star athletes and children of alumni or to get in-state residents?

I am very gloomy about the prospect of UM succeeding in this case. The Court is quite conservative and will probably rule UM's policy unconstitutional. I think that is a shame. Look at all the other schools and corporations that are supporting UM. It really matters.
 

pete-rock

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Seabishop said:
The bigger question is how to fix the public education sytems of urban america
I agree wholeheartedly. I've always understood affirmative action to mean that it was designed to "level the playing field", to insure that opportunity was equal.

The public school systems of many of our big cities are atrocious, and many big-city students find themselves at a disadvantage through no fault of their own. There are kids who have 3.8 GPAs in some inner-city schools, and tax the abilities of their schools to educate them. Should they be penalized because their school system sucks?

I would argue that the quality of primary, secondary and undergraduate education received by non-minority students is equivalent to (if not exceeding) the 20-point "gift" given to minority students at the University of Michigan.

And also, how does one know if one has been affirmatively "acted" against?
 

The Irish One

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I think it was Scalia who told the UM lawyer that UM should lower the bar for admissions if it wanted a more diverse student body. He's saying the court won't change its position.
5 -4 maybe 6-3
 

Greenescapist

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Irish,

Yes, it was Scalia who made that point. I think it's so bogus though. Why shouldn't Michigan be entitled to have a superior law school and create greater diversity using affirmative action much like Yale, Harvard and Stanford already do. The citizens of Michgan and the legal profession as a whole benefit from the school they have.

So, do you think the ruling will be 5-4 upholding the UM system? The clips of the oral arguement I heard on NPR earlier sounded positive for the UM side, but then I saw the news tonight and they aired a few different comments from the Justices and they did not sound as open-minded.
 

The Irish One

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So, do you think the ruling will be 5-4 upholding the UM system?
I think the court is going to uphold, with a serious warning and without stepping on any previous rulings. This does get muddied up by politics. Clarence Thomas has no objections to race as a factor.

Scalia has some good points

"The people you want to talk to are the high school seniors who have seen people visibly less qualified than they are get into prestigious institutions where they are rejected. If you think that is not creating resentment, you are just wrong."

He is so right.

Why shouldn't Michigan be entitled to have a superior law school and create greater diversity using affirmative action much like Yale, Harvard and Stanford already do
Scalia and his conservative colleagues are making a traditional and not irrational argument. That is, if you want to be an ivy league first rate college -then you want the best qualified students. If you want a college that is diverse, than do it by lowering your academic standards for admissions and stop using "disguised quota" 's (Kennedy).

Prediction (you see my picture): In the coming years The UC and CSU education systems of California will no longer accept freshman or sophmore classes and will only be upper division schools - making admissions based on the students performance at Community College. Children will have to compete to get into PRIVATE community colleges -you heard me. Parents, start saving for your kids designer preppy upper class PRIVATE community college!
 

Greenescapist

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The Irish one said:
Monday is the day!
I hope so - and hopefully, for Michigan. I'm a real dork about these big court cases. I just think legal theories and philosophies are so interesting.
 

Wannaplan?

Galactic Superstar
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"Decisions are typically announced on a weekday at 10 a.m..."

"...the court will address two essential questions: Is the pursuit of a diverse student body a 'compelling interest' and therefore may race be a consideration in the admissions process? And, if diversity is a compelling interest, are the University’s policies 'narrowly tailored' to meet this objective?"

http://www.umich.edu/~urecord/0203/June02_03/decision.shtml
 

Wannaplan?

Galactic Superstar
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Court Upholds Michigan Affirmative Action

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=558&e=1&u=/ap/20030623/ap_on_go_su_co/scotus_affirmative_action

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a university law school admissions policy that gives minorities an edge, ruling that race can be one of many factors that colleges consider when selecting their students.

The ruling in the law-school case preserves the concept of affirmative action for minorities who might otherwise be underrepresented on top campuses, but makes clear that racial preferences must be used sparingly.

The 5-4 ruling endorsed a program at the University of Michigan law school meant to ensure a "critical mass" of minorities on campus. The program is not an illegal quota, the high court said.
 

pete-rock

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pete-rock said:
I would argue that the quality of primary, secondary and undergraduate education received by non-minority students is equivalent to (if not exceeding) the 20-point "gift" given to minority students at the University of Michigan.
I can't believe it. Did the Supreme Court read my opinion?
 

Greenescapist

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The Irish one said:
as I predicted 5-4. Thank you
All of these 5-4 decisions underscore the influence the President has on the nation's judiciary. if O'Connor had already retired- and most think she's next - Bush almost certainly would have appointed someone with stronger conservative credentials - or a vote against Michigan. I think the Bushies learned the lesson of Souter (appointed by Bush Sr. as a believed conservative) and will try their damndest NOT to make that mistake again. The next Supreme Court appointment is going to be a bloodbath - Bork-style. It could be here in a matter of weeks. If Rehnquist retires, it will be even uglier since Bush gets to appoint the Chief.
 
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