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Wed04162014

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An Obamacare silver lining

Many conservatives were unhappy with the Supreme Court’s failure to strike down Obamacare, but here’s a silver lining:  The Left and the Mainstream Media had been doomsaying all year about how the Roberts Court was going to be willy-nilly striking down laws and upsetting legal precedent in pursuit of some far-right agenda.  Well, that didn’t happen.  So next term, when the Court hears Fisher v. University of Texas, raising the issue of racial preferences in university admissions, it will be much easier now for the Court to do the right thing and put an end to this nonsense.  (And, no, I don’t think that Chief Justice Roberts’s vote in Obamacare bodes ill for his vote in Fisher.)

 

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Meanwhile, however, the Obama administration continues its bean-counting ways.  A U.S. Department of Agriculture newsletter has announced a scholarship program for students willing to commit to work full-time for USDA upon graduation – limited, however, to students attending Historically Black Land-Grant Universities. 

And the bean-counters at the Department of Justice have sued the Corpus Christi, Texas, police department for its use of a physical ability test, on the grounds that it has a “disparate impact” on female applicants.

But here’s some good news on this front:  The Supreme Court has been presented with an opportunity to get rid of the “disparate impact” approach under the Fair Housing Act – that is, the doctrine that housing policies that treat people without regard to race can still be declared illegal if they lead to politically incorrect results (for example, not making home loans to people with poor credit records may disqualify more people of this color than of that color).  It’s ridiculous to interpret the law so that it requires racial balancing rather than racial nondiscrimination, and the Court had a case like this last term, but it was yanked at the last minute when the city involved came under pressure from the Obama administration and the Civil Rights Establishment.  Now, however, another city has asked the Court to take its case.  Here’s hoping the Court does so.

And speaking of bean-counting, I hereby propose that July 6 every year be National No-Bean-Counting Day, since it is exactly six months away from National Bean Day, January 6.  On National No-Bean-Counting Day, everyone should write to the diversity officer of his or her choice (at work, in school, or in the government), and demand an end to policies that treat individuals on the basis of skin color, what country their ancestors came from, or personal plumbing.

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This would be a good message, too, for Governor Romney to deliver to the NAACP when he speaks to it this week.  Where is the NAACP, which used to be adamantly opposed to racial discrimination, on the issue of politically correct bean-counting?  What does the NAACP think of the fact that there is more and more evidence (including studies by the Center for Equal Opportunity) that, when universities use racial preferences in admissions, it guarantees that the African American students who are admitted will do worse than if they went to a school where their qualifications were on par with the other students’?  Well, we all know the answer to these questions, and – alas – we all also know that these are not subjects that the Governor would dare to mention in his speech.

And speaking of the NAACP:  Senator Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has announced his opposition to President Obama’s nomination of Brian Davis for a federal district judgeship in the Middle District of Florida. Grassley’s opposition is based largely on an Al-Sharptonesque speech that Davis gave to the local NAACP, and his responses to Grassley’s questions about that speech. It’s interesting that Senator Marco Rubio (a home-state senator) is apparently continuing to support the nomination despite some pushback. You can read Grassley’s statement here and a Roll Call news story about all this here.

I’ve read Davis’s speech (quoted extensively in Grassley’s statement), and — although it was given over 16 years ago, in December 1995 — it is indeed quite disturbing. Likewise, I’ve read his answers to Grassley’s questions, and those answers are indeed quite lame — disingenuous, in fact – and of course quite recent. They suggest not only that Davis will follow a very left-wing jurisprudence, but also that he sees the world (and, thus, the litigants in his courtroom) through a relentlessly racial lens. I don’t know whether the rest of Davis’s record assuages or aggravates these concerns, but the speech and the responses make it essential for the rest of the Senate to examine Brian Davis’s record very carefully.