A divided three-judge panel of the 6th Federal Appeals Circuit has struck down Michigan's voter-approved constitutional amendment banning the consideration of race or sex in college admissions decisions. I haven't had the opportunity to parse the specific details of the constitutional basis on which the court reached this conclusion, only that Propostiion 2, as it was known as a ballot initiative, harms minority applicants. The next step, if there is one, will be an appeal to the full bench of the 6th circuit or to the US Supreme Court. The decision comes at a time when the California Legislature is considering a law which would re-introduce racial quotas into the admissions process there, in direct conflict with the provisions of Proposition 209. This you'll recall, was also a voter-approved initiative banning such preferences. Our California affiliate, as noted here, is vigorously opposing this seemingly back-door maneuver. Ward Connerly, a tireless opponent of racial preferences and supporter of both ballot initiatives, gets it right when says that it's becoming impossible for the people to make their own collective decisions in these matters, due to the arbitrary intervention of the courts. Let's hope that an appeal is not long in coming.
Cross-posted from NAS.org Congratulations to King Banaian, who was elected in a close race to the Minnesota House of Representatives. On Election Day he was ten votes ahead of his opponent Carol Lewis, and after a recount on November 29, Lewis conceded the race to Banaian.
Cross-posted from NAS.org Congratulations to Jim Summerville, who was elected to the Tennessee state Senate on November 2, beating incumbent Doug Jackson in a surprise upset. He has been the president of the Tennessee affiliate of the National Association of Scholars for a good many years. We wish him well as he embarks on this new chapter of his career, serving the people of the 25th District.
Proposition 209, the law prohibiting racial preferences at public universities in California, is under attack. Last week the California Association of Scholars (CAS), an affiliate of NAS, filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit against Prop. 209 by an organization that, as NAS president Peter Wood said, "has deployed questionable tactics against civil rights initiatives in every state where they have been proposed." CAS, along with Ward Connerly and the American Civil Rights Foundation, will be represented by attorneys with the Pacific Legal Foundation. There is also a bill called AB2047, which would effectively overturn Prop. 209 and is now in the hands of the California Senate. CAS president John Ellis has sent a letter to the Senate chair, Gloria Romero, urging her and her colleagues to vote down this law. Links Press Release on CAS and BAMN lawsuit CAS Letter to State Senate Chronicle of Higher Ed Pacific Legal Foundation Press Release
So, for the first event of the Arizona Association of Scholars, Ward Connerly will be our guest. Being a strong believer in open dialogue I forwarded a press release to many student organizations on campus. Here is one response:
To: Daniel, Arturo, Andrea, Lorenzo, Socorro, and David I didn't want to explain all of this to the greater email list, but I'm just sending this to a few leaders on campus: Ward Connerly (for those who may not be familiar) was a key opponent of Affirmative Action when the University of Michigan defended its admissions process to the Supreme Court in the late 1990s. As chair of Alianza (Latino student organization) at the University of Michigan during the Affirmative Action cases, I can attest that, frankly, his advocacy can do more potential damage for student of color resources on campus than the cultural center restructuring plans. So, I urge you to research Connerly's track record, attend the talk, and let your voices be heard. If you think it would help, I'd be glad to address your organizations, just let me know. Thanks, Maurice
Jeepers, so much for free inquiry and open dialogue, which now seems to be a dangerous commodity.
Next month the California Association of Scholars, along with the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, will sponsor a free lecture by Victor Davis Hanson on “War in the postmodern world: a review of new laws of conflict and why they are often surreal when seen in a classical context.” Here is the description of the event:
Using ancient Greece and military history as commentary, Professor Hanson will analyze the legal dilemmas faced by democracies when defending themselves against terrorist entities.
Victor Davis Hanson is a Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Professor Emeritus of Classics at the California State University at Fresno, noted historian of ancient Greece and preeminent military historian. He is author of more than 170 articles, 16 books, and recipient of many awards, including the National Humanities Medal.
Victor Davis Hanson is also the recipient of NAS’s Peter Shaw Award and was the keynote speaker at our 2009 national conference. We hope our local members and readers will seize this opportunity to hear from an excellent scholar of Western civilization and to meet like-minded Californians.
The lecture will take place on Monday, October 12, 2009, at 7:30pm at the UCLA faculty center. Please call (310) 569-0853 if you have any questions.