Center for Equal Opportunity

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


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CEO Activities Report

We thought you might be interested in this summary of CEO’s recent activities. We’re proud of the activities discussed below, and remember that frequently our work is hard to publicize because it is behind the scenes and relatively technical -- for example, writing and coordinating amicus briefs. We have had good success in explaining why the “disparate impact” approach in civil-rights law (equating statistical imbalances with discrimination) encourages race-based decision-making, but even though this is a major problem it will never get wide exposure in the mainstream media.  

 The same is true of another CEO message:  That the amount of discrimination in the United States has never been less, that we have made incredible progress, and that the real problems facing the African American community, in particular, these days have little to do with discrimination – namely illegitimacy (72.5 percent of African Americans are now born out of wedlock), the belief that working and studying hard is “acting white,” and the lack of choice parents have in where they can send their children to school. 

But we do speak out.  Most Americans agree with CEO’s message of E pluribus unum and colorblind equal opportunity — and we are the only national organization devoted to it, 24/7

CEO Activities, 2011-2012

Recent studies – These are released with local press conferences, op-eds, and other media; they have documented racial preferences in public university admissions in Ohio (February 2011), Wisconsin (September 2011), and elsewhere (planned for 2012) [link to CEO’s higher ed studies generally: ].

More on Wisconsin – Our studies and visit resulted in student protests, a raucous law-school debate, followup state legislative testimony, and national media [a few links: and and and ].

Fisher v. University of Texas – This case challenging racial preferences in student admissions relies heavily on a legal theory we developed; we filed an amicus brief with the court of appeals and were the first to flag the opposing Obama administration brief there, participated in a moot court for Fisher’s counsel, filed Supreme Court amicus briefs (at cert stage and on the merits – highlighting CEO’s studies above), helped coordinate other amicus briefs, are advising Fisher’s counsel, and have done extensive speaking, writing, and “truth squad” work [link: ].

Other amicus briefs – We have worked closely with the parties and other amici in defending antipreference ballot measures (Proposal 2 in Michigan and Prop 209 in California), criticizing the “disparate impact” approach under the Fair Housing Act (in two Supreme Court cases), urging Supreme Court review of constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act in two cases, and urging Supreme Court review of the constitutionality of racially preferential Hawaii law and of the disparate-impact approach in employment; also involved in Cato Institute amicus brief in Perry v. Perez (Texas redistricting case).

Federal Register – We review this every day and file formal comments several times a week on proposed federal rules and regulations.  We have succeeded in removing racially preferential language in a wide variety of programs.

Congress – We are working with a prominent Democratic Senator in opposing racial preferences at federal level; testified this year on racial profiling and in 2010 on the disparate-impact approach in lending and on felon voting (for the latter, CEO has also filed successful amicus briefs and given advice at the state level); helped pass a legislative rider in the House this year limiting the use of disparate-impact by the EEOC [link: ], met with Senate staff on this issue, and are working with House staff on drafting a broader bill; oppose objectionable judicial -- e.g., Goodwin Liu (defeated) and Sonia Sotomayor -- and executive-branch nominations; oppose racial preferences in other legislation – sometimes successfully (for Native Hawaiians), and sometimes not (Obamacare, Dodd-Frank) [links to testimony: and and ].

Presidential campaign – We have prepared candidate Q&A’s on racial preferences, criticized Sen. Santorum for his support of felon voting, criticized Democrats when they play the race card, and supported (successfully) getting antipreference language into Republican platform [links:  and and ].

Contracting – We have sent memoranda to over a dozen cities in 2011-12, warning them not to use racial preferences, and are in the process of contacting a state legislature on the same issue; also active in advising various groups and attorneys regarding litigation in this area; have urged Congress to commission a GAO study on the economic costs of such preferences (and are exploring possible Tea Party interest in this issue because of these costs); and have drafted model brief for use in challenging contracting racial preferences [link: ].

Contacting university general counsel -- E.g., two universities (including one where we had already been successful a few years ago) during the past few weeks regarding racially exclusive programs (e.g., scholarships) and faculty discrimination.

Helping citizens –  This includes discriminated-against employees, parents, and attorneys, who frequently call to get advice (e.g., in successfully stopping a racially preferential tutoring program at a public school).

Leader/advisor – We co-chair and prepare the agenda of the Civil Rights Working Group, which meets monthly at the Heritage Foundation and brings together congressional staff and conservative think tanks; we also serve on the executive committee of the Federalist Society’s civil rights practice group; as noted above, we help coordinate amicus briefs; and we advise other conservative writers on their work (e.g., at National Review and the Manhattan Institute).

Writing – most frequently for National Review Online [archive: ], but also for many other publications:  e.g., Washington Post, Academic Questions, New York Post, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Congressional Quarterly, Engage (Federalist Society), Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Times; have contributed chapter (opposing foreign-language ballots) in forthcoming book, and have also written numerous law review articles; and of course Linda Chavez’s nationally syndicated column and writing and blogging for Commentary magazine.

Speaking – radio and television, university campuses (several each semester), other groups (e.g., National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies this month), and of course responding to frequent media inquiries on civil-rights issues.

We’re busy!  Please support CEO with a tax-deductible donation, and feel free to share this email with anyone you think might be interested in CEO’s work.