Monday, June 23, 2003

Say HUH to Michigan 

Today�s majority opinion in Grutter v. Bollinger (the Michigan Law School admissions case), written by Justice O�Connor may well baffle students of logic for decades to come. Here�s one more stab at understanding the majority�s reasoning:

"Under the 14th Amendment, Group classification [has] long [been] recognized as in most circumstances irrelevant and therefore prohibited.


government may treat people differently because of their race only for the most compelling reasons,


student body diversity is a such a compelling state interest that can justify the use of race in university admissions.


group classification should be subjected to detailed judicial inquiry to ensure that the personal right to equal protection of the laws has not been infringed,


to be narrowly tailored, a race-conscious admissions program cannot use a quota system.


race may be used as a �plus-factor� in admission considerations to obtain a �critical mass� of an under represented minority,


a �critical mass� is not necessarily a �quota� so long as no number or percentage is ever explicitly written down or said.


the only justification for the use of race in the admissions process is obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body,


use of race as a �plus-factor� in admissions must have a logical end point, durational limit, and sunset provision.


A politically desirable end can justify normally unconstitutional means so long as cleverly narrow redefinitions of the means are employed, so long as no quantifiable objectives for using such means are ever explicitly articulated, and so long as one hopes to discontinue using those means at some point in the not too distant future.