Conservatives Don't Actually Have an Argument for Killing Affirmative Action - 2022-11-11
The Supreme Court is poised to take down affirmative action and declare the consideration of race in college admissions unconstitutional. On Halloween, the court heard two cases aimed at prohibiting the policy—one against the University of North Carolina and the other against Harvard University. Over a five-hour marathon of oral arguments, the six conservative justices all seemed willing to do away with the most effective policy I can think of in American history for promoting diversity and racial integration.
While a wide array of conservative-aligned people and institutions always arrive at the conclusion that affirmative action is "bad," they generally fail to provide logically or legally coherent reasons for why this policy must die. This was the case during the oral arguments. As the justices asked their questions and telegraphed their takes, they couldn't even agree on why they were going to ban affirmative action. (Diversity is bad! Diversity is good but can be achieved by other means! Affirmative action has failed because we still need it!) Instead, they kept throwing spaghetti at the wall, desperately attempting to find a basis on which to issue their predetermined ruling, because the cases in front of them are too weak to support their extremist desires to overturn nearly 60 years of precedent.
The cases against the universities were brought by a group called Students for Fair Admissions, which claims to represent students from the Asian American and Pacific Islander community who feel that affirmative action discriminates against them. In fact, the group was organized by a well-funded white conservative gadfly, Ed Blum, who has made it his life's work to end affirmative action. Actual AAPI affinity groups, and a whopping 69 percent of AAPI voters, support affirmative action. The idea that the white conservative legal echo-system is attacking affirmative action on behalf of Asian Americans fails in its first contact with reality.