Supreme court upholds Michigan ban on affirmative action.

MacNut

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The US Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a constitutional amendment in Michigan banning the use of race-based preferences in the admissions decisions of public universities.

Voting 6 to 2, the high court said Michigan’s Proposal 2 did not violate the US Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause as charged by various groups favoring the use of affirmative action in college admissions.

The groups had challenged the affirmative action ban on grounds that it tilted the political playing field in Michigan in a way that made it significantly more difficult for racial minorities to enact the type of race-based college admissions policies that they favor.

A federal judge rejected the argument, but the full Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals embraced it by a vote of 8 to 7, striking down the Michigan ban.

In reversing that decision, the high court said the appeals court judges were wrong to “disempower” the 58 percent of Michigan voters who supported the constitutional amendment.
“There is no authority in the Constitution of the United States or in this Court’s precedents for the Judiciary to set aside Michigan laws that commit this policy determination to the voters,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the court’s main opinion.

“This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it,” Justice Kennedy wrote in an 18-page opinion.

He added: “It is demeaning to the democratic process to presume that the voters are not capable of deciding an issue of this sensitivity on decent and rational grounds.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor filed a 58-page dissent in which she lectured and belittled the majority justices as being “out of touch with reality.”

“My colleagues are of the view that we should leave race out of the picture entirely and let the voters sort it out,” she said.

“In my colleagues’ view, examining the racial impact of legislation only perpetuates racial discrimination,” she said in a dissent joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“This refusal to accept the stark reality that race matters is regrettable,” Justice Sotomayor said.

“The Constitution does not protect minorities from political defeat. But neither does it give the majority free rein to erect selective barriers against racial minorities,” she said.

Sotomayor said the judiciary has a special role to play to safeguard minority rights that might be diminished or extinguished by majoritarian power.

“The Court abdicates that role, permitting the majority to use its numerical advantage to change the rules mid-contest and forever stack the deck against racial minorities in Michigan,” she said.
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2014/0422/US-Supreme-Court-Michigan-ban-on-affirmative-action-OK

I can see both sides of the argument, the best students should be accepted to school. But how do you also give minorities a better chance.
 

satcomer

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http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2014/0422/US-Supreme-Court-Michigan-ban-on-affirmative-action-OK

I can see both sides of the argument, the best students should be accepted to school. But how do you also give minorities a better chance.
Then go with original purpose of Affirmative Action! In paraphrasing it was when all things being equal the default should go to the minority person. This IMHO has be so corrupted over the years some people believe any minority should be just let in, qualified or not. To me this attitude has ruined the original purpose of Affirmative Action!
 

MacNut

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Then go with original purpose of Affirmative Action! In paraphrasing it was when all things being equal the default should go to the minority person. This IMHO has be so corrupted over the years some people believe any minority should be just let in, qualified or not. To me this attitude has ruined the original purpose of Affirmative Action!
The idea was that minorities were not given a chance wether they were good enough or not. I would hope we are past that stage and the best person gets the job no matter what.

At some point we need to treat everyone as equal by default. Preferential treatment should not be needed.
 

Ugg

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The idea was that minorities were not given a chance wether they were good enough or not. I would hope we are past that stage and the best person gets the job no matter what.

At some point we need to treat everyone as equal by default. Preferential treatment should not be needed.
Then, if everyone is truly equal then all kids should have access to the same things. If the determining factor of access is the socioeconomic status of the parent, then starting with pre-natal care, everyone deserves to be treated equally until they finish with their tertiary education.
 

MacNut

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Then, if everyone is truly equal then all kids should have access to the same things. If the determining factor of access is the socioeconomic status of the parent, then starting with pre-natal care, everyone deserves to be treated equally until they finish with their tertiary education.
All kids should have access to it, but should some be given extra treatment to get it?
 

Moyank24

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http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2014/0422/US-Supreme-Court-Michigan-ban-on-affirmative-action-OK

I can see both sides of the argument, the best students should be accepted to school. But how do you also give minorities a better chance.
I can see both sides also. Especially when you consider the fact that it's hard to find the "best students" when there is such a difference in the quality of education that kids receive in this country.

If a kid from a 20K a year private school is being evaluated straight up against a kid from inner city Detroit, you have to imagine the private school kid is probably going to win 9/10 times. And then the kids who are receiving a poor education for a million different reasons don't have a way to elevate themselves. It's a cycle of bad.
 

Zombie Acorn

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Then, if everyone is truly equal then all kids should have access to the same things. If the determining factor of access is the socioeconomic status of the parent, then starting with pre-natal care, everyone deserves to be treated equally until they finish with their tertiary education.
This isn't what affirmative action prevents. There are plenty of poor and poorly educated white people who can't get admitted to college. If you want to give preference to poorer kids that's one thing, but given two otherwise equal candidates race should not be a factor.
 

Ugg

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All kids should have access to it, but should some be given extra treatment to get it?
Should have access? Are you implying that access is now not equal?

Finland has been at the top of the PISA list for years. The reason being is that every single student in Finland is given the same access to education. How do they do this? There are no private schools in Finland and teachers are very well paid and very well respected.

That obviously wouldn't fly in the USA, because here, the only thing that matters in education is the size of your parents' bank account and their social standing.

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This isn't what affirmative action prevents. There are plenty of poor and poorly educated white people who can't get admitted to college. If you want to give preference to poorer kids that's one thing, but given two otherwise equal candidates race should not be a factor.
I no longer believe that skin color should be a determining factor but I'm a strong proponent of allowing socio-economic status to determine a set number of admissions. And you know what,? The majority if those kids are going to be black or Hispanic.
 

iBlazed

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I have to agree with the Supreme Court on this one. I think affirmative action should be used to help lift the poor out of poverty, regardless of the race of the people who benefit from it. Yeah, most of those people would probably be minorities anyway, but at least it would be fair. I'm surprised affirmative action based on race is even constitutional.
 

MacNut

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Should have access? Are you implying that access is now not equal?

Finland has been at the top of the PISA list for years. The reason being is that every single student in Finland is given the same access to education. How do they do this? There are no private schools in Finland and teachers are very well paid and very well respected.

That obviously wouldn't fly in the USA, because here, the only thing that matters in education is the size of your parents' bank account and their social standing.
Everyone has access to public school. Each school system is different but nobody is being denied access to it. The student decides if they want to go to school or not. Kids are not being locked out of public school. They might not have the money to buy supplies for school but the education should be the same. With or without a pencil you are being taught the same thing.

The problem is certain areas are not funding as well as other areas. Usually those are minority neighborhoods. Who is at fault for this breakdown, is it the government for not providing the funding or the parents for not fighting enough for their children.

The other side is should a well off student be denied a college education because they need to fit a quota of minority students. Should the college have to make a choice of the best applicants or the law to take a minority no matter what their abilities are. Who should be responsible for making sure these kids are ready for higher education.
 

Moyank24

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The other side is should a well off student be denied a college education because they need to fit a quota of minority students. Should the college have to make a choice of the best applicants or the law to take a minority no matter what their abilities are. Who should be responsible for making sure these kids are ready for higher education.
I guess an argument can be made that a well-off student has a lot more options available to them than a low-income minority (white) student does.

Unfortunately it's a divide that's going to get worse before it gets better - affirmative action or not.
 

MacNut

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I guess an argument can be made that a well-off student has a lot more options available to them than a low-income minority (white) student does.

Unfortunately it's a divide that's going to get worse before it gets better - affirmative action or not.
The bigger issue is how do we get everyone a quality education. And even if that is provided how do you engage those kids to want to learn. We can throw all the money in the world at education but if kids don't care to learn it won't do much good.

The other side is even well off white kids might not be able to afford college. But that is another can of worms for another thread.
 

iBlazed

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We can throw all the money in the world at education but if kids don't care to learn it won't do much good.
And this is a huge part of the issue. Try talking to a teacher who teaches in an inner city school. As great of a teacher as she may be, there's not much reasoning with a 7 year old who says "my mama said I don't have to listen to no white teachers" or "you just gave me an F cuz I'm black!". These kids parents teach them to be a victim from a young age and put very little value in education, kids soak it up like a sponge. Not saying this is a black issue, I'm sure teaching in a poor white area is no picnic either.
 

Southern Dad

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How would you feel if you were given a job or a slot at a school and you knew that you were not qualified? That the bar had to be lowered for you to get that? That is what Affirmative Action does. It doesn't fix the problem. It just lowers the standards for one group of people.
 

Moyank24

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How would you feel if you were given a job or a slot at a school and you knew that you were not qualified? That the bar had to be lowered for you to get that? That is what Affirmative Action does. It doesn't fix the problem. It just lowers the standards for one group of people.
The problem we're facing is that because of the educational divide in this country, how do we know a student isn't qualified?

I also think it's ironic that nobody seems to care about "unqualified" students taking scholarships, or spots at school, away from those who are qualified as long as they can throw, or catch, a ball.
 

iBlazed

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How do you figure?
Because I don't think people should be getting a free ride through college for the ability to kick a ball and play a stupid game. I think college sports are a joke in general. I wish my fellow countrymen weren't so sickly obsessed with them. These athletes are taking spots in colleges away from people who are actually worthy of them.
 

Southern Dad

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Because I don't think people should be getting a free ride through college for the ability to kick a ball and play a stupid game. I think college sports are a joke in general. I wish my fellow countrymen weren't so sickly obsessed with them. These athletes are taking spots in colleges away from people who are actually worthy of them.
I agree, the athlete taking Basket Weaving 101 probably shouldn't be in the school. However, school athletics brings in big time donor bucks which is what is really keeping these schools going. If you think a college education is expensive now, who pays for it when the alumni donation bucks go away?
 

ugahairydawgs

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Because I don't think people should be getting a free ride through college for the ability to kick a ball and play a stupid game. I think college sports are a joke in general. I wish my fellow countrymen weren't so sickly obsessed with them. These athletes are taking spots in colleges away from people who are actually worthy of them.
Those people that can kick a ball bring in a lot of money for universities that they can then use to pay for things like professors and scholarships for people who can't kick a ball (or afford tuition).

I'm not saying its a perfect system, but I don't think we should scrap it either.
 

Moyank24

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I agree, the athlete taking Basket Weaving 101 probably shouldn't be in the school. However, school athletics brings in big time donor bucks which is what is really keeping these schools going. If you think a college education is expensive now, who pays for it when the alumni donation bucks go away?
Those people that can kick a ball bring in a lot of money for universities that they can then use to pay for things like professors and scholarships for people who can't kick a ball (or afford tuition).

I'm not saying its a perfect system, but I don't think we should scrap it either.
Or, maybe they can find athletes who will meet the same requirements that everyone else in the school does?

You can't criticize something like affirmative action on one hand and then justify lowering the standards for athletes on the other.
 

ugahairydawgs

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Or, maybe they can find athletes who will meet the same requirements that everyone else in the school does?

You can't criticize something like affirmative action on one hand and then justify lowering the standards for athletes on the other.
Sure I can. The admission standards are different for athletes because of the value their athletic ability brings to the schools. Top flight athletics is just a means by which to market the university.
 

stubeeef

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Then, if everyone is truly equal then all kids should have access to the same things. If the determining factor of access is the socioeconomic status of the parent, then starting with pre-natal care, everyone deserves to be treated equally until they finish with their tertiary education.
What about poor white children that don't get the same access as minority wealthy children?
The whole scheme is over-perfect equality will never exist-outcomes will never be equal either-there is no law to make that happen no matter how the facts get manipulated.
I'm not for racism in either direction, but punishing some for not being of any particular group has never seemed fair either.
Glad the court got this one right.
 

Southern Dad

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Or, maybe they can find athletes who will meet the same requirements that everyone else in the school does?

You can't criticize something like affirmative action on one hand and then justify lowering the standards for athletes on the other.
I don't support school athletic programs having lower standards. I'm saying that abolishing them would add to the cost of the tuition. We are not comparing the same things here. We have two completely different comparisons going. There's a place for both of them in conversation but they are very different.

Comparison One (which is what the topic is about)
Students who get into the school with lower standards because of minority status versus students who don't get into the school but had higher standards than the minorities that got in.

Comparison Two
Athletes that get into the school with lower standards versus students who can't throw a football.
 

Moyank24

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Sure I can. The admission standards are different for athletes because of the value their athletic ability brings to the schools. Top flight athletics is just a means by which to market the university.
Of course you can. You have a football helmet as your AVI, but it doesn't make it any less ridiculous.

That said, we wonder why our education system is a joke....