Time for Supreme Court to halt unconstitutional racial set-asides

Time for Supreme Court to halt unconstitutional racial set-asides

February 28th, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

The law should be colorblind, because the U.S. Constitution provides for "equal protection of the laws."

So it is plainly wrong that many publicly funded universities continue to give admissions preference to members of certain races.

Those preferences may go by the fine-sounding name "affirmative action," but there is no hiding their true, unjust effect: denying admission to some members of certain races even if they may have higher qualifications than other individuals who are admitted.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a muddled and unconstitutional ruling in 2003 that allowed race to continue to be used as a factor in college admissions.

Now, however, the high court has agreed to review a case involving racial preferences at the University of Texas at Austin. A white Texas woman sued after she was denied admission to the university. She said the school's race-conscious policies violated her constitutional rights.

What might the court do? It's hard to say, but it is at least possible that it will strike down racial preferences. That's because liberal Justice Elena Kagan, who was involved in the case when she worked for the Justice Department, has recused herself. And the court overall is seen today as less likely to support racial preferences than it was when it issued its bad 5-4 ruling in 2003.

It is long past time to end the use of race in admissions at taxpayer-funded colleges and universities and to restore the principle of equal protection of the laws.