Waiting For Fisher

[NOTE: This post has been UPDATED]

By the time you read this the Supreme Court may have decided, in its February 17 conference, whether or not to hear the appeal of Fisher v. University of Texas, a challenge to race-based preferential treatment. Meanwhile, or even after the Court’s decision, it would be worth your while to look at this column in the Austin Statesman by regular columnist Ashley Sanchez.

Ms. Sanchez, who describes herself as “the mother of Hispanic daughters,” thinks that it’s “nuts” for her daughters’ ethnicity to provide any advantage to them when they apply to college. She thinks they, like everyone else, should be judged on the basis of their “character and accomplishments.” Adopting Martin Luther King’s most famous line — something all King’s notable Memorializers couldn’t muster the wisdom or the courage to do — she added: “But judging students on the content of their character shouldn’t require us to consider the color of their skin.”

Whether or not the Court agrees to hear Fisher I will have more to say about two briefs that were filed urging it to take the case, both of them presenting powerful  evidence and argument on the “mismatch” theory — one by UCLA law professor Richard Sander, who has written a number of articles developing that theory, and Stuart Taylor Jr.; and the other by Gail Heriot, Peter Kirsanow, and Todd Gaziano of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Ms. Sanchez is impressed by the Sander brief, noting that it “makes a compelling case that minority students are best served by attending the college that most closely matches their academic credentials, as opposed to attending a higher-tier institution that accepted them in part because they are part of a minority.”

What is more interesting than her agreeing with the “mismatch” theory, however  (the argument is so strong it’s not very interesting when someone agrees with it),  is how personally relevant and helpful it is to her as “the mother of Hispanic daughters”: “That will be useful information for our family as our daughters weigh their college options.”

Let’s hope the Supreme Court finds it useful as well.


A commenter below offers a common criticism of my (and by implication, Ms. Sanchez’s) use of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous dream that one day his children will be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. If you’re interested in “the meaning of Martin Luther King Jr.,” I encourage you to take a look at the criticisms and my reply, including the old posts I link.

Say What? (5)

  1. B.B. February 17, 2012 at 1:52 am | | Reply

    Adopting Martin Luther King’s most famous line — something all King’s notable Memorializers couldn’t muster the wisdom or the courage to do

    King’s notable memorialists have a better grasp on King’s actual political views than the Republicans who would like to rewrite history so as to make him into a color-blind conservative.

    Myths of Martin Luther King
    Recasting MLK as an Affirmative Action Opponent

  2. B.B. February 17, 2012 at 12:45 pm | | Reply

    John said:
    I made no reference to “King’s actual political views” — or to be more accurate, what his political views became years after he delivered his memorable speech at the March on Washington.

    I doubt MLK’s views espoused on “compensatory treatment for the Negro” in Why We Can’t Wait which was released only a few months after the March on Washington were any different from when he was giving his famous speech.

    John said:
    The power of what King said in that speech is not diminished by whatever degree he came to disavow its colorblind ideal.

    The problem is that you are citing King as a moral authority on this issue, when in reality his stance is the opposite of what you give the impression that his views are. In fact I fail to see why any person of the right would want to paint MLK as a moral authority in the first place.

    I also find drawing parallels between Jefferson & King’s failure to live up to to their own moral standards rather besides the point. The legacy of Jefferson as one of the founders of the United States is different from the legacy of King. King’s legacy is essentially a bunch of disastrous government policies. Sure, coercive segregation was ended, but at the price of coercive integration and the massive over-extension of power of the federal government over states rights. Because of Jefferson we live in a more free society, because of King we live in a less free society. Great oratorical skills and nice sounding quotes hardly compensate for this.

  3. superdestroyer February 18, 2012 at 8:53 am | | Reply

    The only way to view affirmative action is that blacks and Hispanic will openly support racist, discrimination, and bigotry if they are the beneficiaries of the discrimination and racism.

    The reason blacks want to change the subject when it comes to their support of discrimination is that it indites everything they claim to believe about civil rights.

Say What?