Center for Equal Opportunity

The nation’s only conservative think tank devoted to issues of race and ethnicity.


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Back You are here: Home Affirmative Action For once, the New York Times is right!

For once, the New York Times is right!

Earlier this year, the New York Times ran an editorial titled, “The Affirmative Action War Goes On.”  Well, for once it’s right:  That war does continue.

Of course, once you get below the title and start reading the editorial itself, the Times gets it mostly wrong.  But even this is instructive for supporters of the Center for Equal Opportunity.  You see, for every item listed in the editorial, CEO has been active.  So below we’ve run most of the editorial, annotated with what CEO has been doing.

“[T]he Obama administration issued important guidance to colleges and universities on how to increase racial diversity on campuses, explaining ways to navigate the narrow legal channel charted by the Supreme Court.

And CEO immediately condemned that guidance, here.

“That difference has played out between the political parties for decades, as it will in this presidential election.

And CEO has provided suggested Q&A’s for political candidates, here.

“Race-conscious programs in education—affirmative action in college admissions and voluntary integration of public schools—have been embattled . . . [T]he Supreme Court has restricted the approaches available to remedy racial disparities, but has left room for institutions to consider race in achieving certain broader aims.”

And CEO played a role in many of those cases.  For example, we filed an amicus brief in this case, striking down undergraduate admission preferences at the University of Michigan, and in this case, striking down race-based student assignments in Seattle and Louisville public schools.

“The war has not ended, however, and three notable lawsuits around the country show the continuing controversy. In March, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will reconsider Michigan’s ban on affirmative action in public university admissions, which a three-judge panel of the court struck down last summer. By prohibiting race-conscious admissions under the Michigan Constitution, the court said, the ban “reorders the political process in Michigan to place special burdens on minority interests.”

CEO had joined an amicus brief in that case, urging the full Sixth Circuit to reverse that decision.  The decision was vacated, and now the full Sixth Circuit (with another CEO brief before it) is considering the case.

“In the Fifth Circuit, a three-judge panel a year ago upheld the use of race as a factor in admissions at the University of Texas at Austin. Four-fifths of students there are admitted as graduates in the top 10 percent of their high school classes. But one-fifth are admitted based on individual assessments, including race as a factor, and this program is being challenged. The university is waiting to hear whether the Supreme Court will review that decision.

At CEO’s urging, the Supreme Court will indeed here that case next term. We had filed an amicus brief with the Court (and had filed an amicus brief with the court of appeals below when it had heard the case).

“In the Ninth Circuit next month, a three-judge panel will hear an appeal from a district court decision to dismiss a challenge to California’s Proposition 209, which outlawed race-conscious admissions in 1996.

Again, CEO filed a brief—and won.

“Leaders of universities, corporations and other institutions fear that the conservative majority will overrule Grutter v. Bollinger, the 2003 case that upheld the right of a public law school to consider race in admissions to achieve the benefits of a diverse student body.

And CEO will be urging the Court to do just that, in an amicus brief we’ll be filing with the Supreme Court this month.

Of course, CEO has been active in opposing racial and ethnic preferences not only in education, but in contracting, employment, voting—you name it—too.  So if you agree with the New York Times that affirmative action issues are alive and well, but believe that racial preferences are bad for America and that colorblind equal opportunity is always the better approach, then you should support the Center for Equal Opportunity.  Simple as that.