Showing posts with label Gratz v. Bollinger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gratz v. Bollinger. Show all posts

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Elitist Colleges Give Admissions Preferences to Children of Alumni: Let's Kick Them Out of the Federal Student Aid Program

Evan Mandery wrote an op ed essay in the New York Times recently decrying the preferential
admissions polices of our elitist colleges.  No--Mandery was not talking about affirmative action, whereby colleges give preference to minority applicants when making admissions decisions. He was talking about the special preferences many elitist colleges give to the children of alumni--often called legacies.

According to Mandery, the children of alumni have a 45 percent greater chance of admissions at 30 of our nation's most elite colleges than non-legacies. Mandery thinks it is wrong for colleges to favor the children of alumni when making admissions decisions, and I agree. The legacy preferences of our elitists colleges stink.

Almost in passing, Mandery acknowledged that our elitist institutions also give admission preferences to racial minorities.  In fact, Mandery noted that being a legacy is "the equivalent of 160 additional points on an applicant’s SAT, nearly as much as being a star athlete or African-American or Hispanic."  

So here is the bottom line. If you want to attend Harvard, Yale, or a couple of dozen other elitist universities, it will help enormously  if you are Hispanic, African American, or the child of an alumnus.

Like most New York Times essayists, Mandery probably thinks he is a liberal progressive. But his suggestions for ending legacy preferences are about as radical as 1950s era Reader's Digest article.  Here are  his suggestions: "a huge reform" of the nation's tax structure and "improved access to higher education."  My God, Mandery's an anarchist!

Such twaddle.

Mandery's suggested reforms have nothing to do with the rotten and corrupt way our nation's elitist colleges are admitting students.  As Mandery admits--these slimy institutions give preferences to their rich alums and to racial minorities.   What's more, they brag about it!

 I suppose laws could be passed to ban these practices, but as Justice  Ruth Ginsburg said in her dissenting opinion in Gratz v. Bollinger, our nation's colleges would probably continue giving racial preferences when admitting students even if it were illegal; they would just lie about it. 

Evan J. Mandery
photo credit:

As for me, I think we should kick the elitist colleges and universities out of the federal student loan program and invest this money solely in public universities and public community colleges.  I favor letting Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Brown, Wesleyan, Smith and all the other private elitist institutions stew in their own postmodern and often racist juices.  Let them admit  students however they want; just don't give them access to federal student loan money or  Pell Grants. 

Moreover, just as our elitist colleges give special preferences to minorities and the children of their alumni when making admissions decisions, I think the American public should give a special preference to anyone who did not graduate from one of these sleazeball institutions when choosing our nation's leaders.

In other words, people who graduate from Harvard or Yale should be penalized in the public mind if they run for president, seek a federal judgeship, or apply for a cabinet post .  As everyone knows, our government is now run almost entirely by elitist college graduates, and the Russians are showing them up to be fools.


Evan J. Mandery. End College Legacy Preferances. New York Times, April 24, 1014.  Accessible  at:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

"Ye shall know the truth . . ." Have our great public universities lost touch with the people they were founded to serve?

Americans revere our Ivy League universities. Hundreds of American cities have a Harvard Street or a Yale Avenue. I live in the College Town subdivision of Baton Rouge, and Harvard Avenue is just a few blocks from my house.

But American adoration of the Ivy League colleges is misplaced. The real jewels in the crown of American higher education are our nation's great public universities: University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan, University of California and a few others. Founded and funded by state legislatures, these public universities were intended to be places where young men and women could receive a first-class education in their home states. 
University of Texas
"Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free."

University of Texas, where I attuned law school, certainly ranks with the University of Michigan and the University of California as one of the nation's leading public universities.  At one time, bright young men and women from the cities and small towns of Texas could enroll at UT at very little cost and see a whole new world open up--the world of great ideas and great ideals.

In North Toward Home, Willie Morris, who later became a noted journalist and editor of Harper's magazine, wrote of his experience at UT in the 1950s.  Morris grew up in the small town of Yazoo City, Mississippi and attended the University of Texas in the early 1950s. He later made his home among the intellectual elites of New York City.

Years later, this is how Morris described how the University of Texas changed his life. "I believe now," Morris wrote, "that the University of Texas was somehow beginning to give me an interest and a curiosity outside my parochial ego."  It was at the University of Texas, Morris reflected, where he came to accept the notion of ideas "as something worth living by."

I first read North Toward Home while a student at UT, and my experience was similar to Morris's.  I still recall standing in front of the University's Main Library and reading these words above the steps, chiseled in stone in letters two feet high: "Ye shall know the truth and the truth will set you free."

Those words thrilled me then, and I must say UT kept its promise.  The law school opened a whole new world for me--a world of disciplined and clear thinking, academic rigor, and a reverence for ordered law.

I attended UT Law School at minimal expense; tuition was only $500 per semester. At that time, the Law School existed primarily for Texans. In fact, the law school was legally obligated to admit 85 percent of each entering class from among Texas citizens.  I met young men and women from all over Texas: African Americans from Houston and Dallas, Latinos from the Rio Grande Valley, Anglo men and women from such small towns as Vernon and Longview.

Today, I fear, the great American public universities have morphed into entirely different entities from the ones envisioned by the state legislatures that founded them.  As state funding has shrunk, the universities have become more and more dependent on tuition, endowments, and research funds.

Over time the great public universities have become to look very much like our elite private universities. They have lost their connection to the people of their respective states.

I see this phenomenon illustrated by rising costs and by the elitist posturing of our major public universities on social issues.  At their best, these universities once offered an education to the bright young men and women of their states--regardless of race, class, or wealth.  And tuition was kept down so the cost of receiving a college education would not be prohibitively expensive.

Today, the law school I attended for $1,000 a year charges Texas residents $36,000 a year in tuition, and it takes race into account when making admission decisions.  In fact, I believe all the major public universities have aggressive affirmative action policies in place. Until the policy was struck down by the Supreme Court, the University of Michigan even had a point system for admitting undergraduates that gave special preference to minorities.

Our great public universities are not only obsessed with race, they have increasingly become hostile to tradition religious values. The University of California's Hastings Law School refused to recognize a campus chapter of the Christian Legal Society as a student organization on the grounds that it declined to accept members who did not subscribe to traditional Christian doctrine on sexual morality. The University of Texas tried to bar a student group from handing out literature opposing abortion.

Today, our major state universities still describe themselves as public institutions but they increasingly look like the elite private universities in terms of their values.  Serving the common people of their respective states is too parochial for them.  Leave that to the regional institutions like Sam Houston State University in Huntsville or Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

This is fine, I suppose, but university leaders should be honest about their institutions' new identities.  Our most prestigious public universities now serve to advance a global culture of postmodernism and not the people of their states. In my view, state legislatures should cut all ties with these universities--formally designating them for what they really are: elitist private institutions.


Christian Legal Society Chapter of the University of California v. Martinez, 130 S. Ct. 2971 (2010).

Gratz v.Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003).

Justice For All v. Faulkner, 410 F.3d 760 (5th    Cir. 2005).

Willie Morris. North Toward Home. New York: Delta Books, 1967.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

President Obama Did Not Tell the Truth About the Affordable Care Act: Where Was the President Educated?

Justice Ruth Ginsburg
It's OK to scam the rubes (wink!)
In Gratz v. Bollinger, the Supreme Court overturned an affirmative action program at the University of Michigan that used a point system to benefit minority applicants to the university.  In the majority opinion's view, the University of Michigan had unlawfully discriminated against white applicants in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

In a remarkable display of cynicism, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented. She argued that the Court should allow American universities to discriminate based on race because they would do it anyway, even if they had to lie about it.

Here is what she said:
One can reasonably anticipate . . . that colleges and universities will seek to maintain their minority enrollment--and the networks and opportunities thereby opened to minority graduates--whether or not they can do so in full candor through adoption of affirmative action plans of the kind here at issue. Without recourse to such plans, institutions of higher education may resort to camouflage. . . . If honesty is the best policy, surely Michigan's accurately described, fully disclosed College affirmative action program is preferable to achieving similar numbers through winks, nods, and disguises. (emphasis supplied)
What an astonishing thing for a Supreme Court Justice to write. In her view, college administrators are so lacking in integrity that they will lie in order to achieve their desired social goals, even if their tactics violate the law.

And Justice Ginsburg did not condemn such behavior. Implicitly at least, Justice Ginsburg endorsed the view that the end justifies the means.  Affirmative action is so worthwhile, she apparently believes, that it is OK for college officials to engage in subterfuge--to camouflage their activities, to advance their goals through "winks, nods, and disguises."

President Obama, we now know, shares Justice Ginsburg's views about honesty. Universal health care is such a good thing, he believes, that it is permissible to lie repeatedly about how the new health care law actually works.

I'm part Cherokee (wink!)
Where did Justice Ginsburg and President Obama develop such cynical views about honesty and the law? Well they were both educated at Harvard Law School and both served on the Harvard Law Review. (Justice Ginsburg transferred from Harvard to Columbia Law School before she graduated.) Perhaps Harvard infected them with the elitist view that it is OK to scam the rubes.  After all, it is the elites--people like Ruth and Barack--who know what is best for people.

And if a Harvard Law Professor (Elizabeth Warren) wants to claim she's an American Indian, that's OK too. It is important for Harvard to claim it has a Native American law professor, whether or not it's true.

Harvard's motto is Veritas--the Latin word for truth.  In light of the leaders Harvard has produced in recent years, perhaps its motto should be tweaked a bit.  How about "Veritas (wink)".

Veritas (wink!)


Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003).