[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.