Tuesday, February 26, 2013

He has a point

Mr. Blum is billed as a conservative. He heads the Project on Fair Representation and argues "that the Voting Rights Act and race-based preferences in college admissions are unconstitutional." This project is responsible for getting two cases to the US Supreme Court: Shelby County v. Holder and Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (11-345). [Force Behind Race-Law Rollback Efforts Talks Voting Rights Case].

According to him, the Voting Rights Act is discriminatory in its effect. He states "that if we're going to have election laws that apply to Alabama and Texas, and to all these covered jurisdictions, those need to be the same laws that apply to places like Tennessee and Ohio and Oklahoma and Washington state." He adds that Congress' renewal of the 1965 voting act in 2006 used 1964 data that was relevant in 1965, but not in 2006. For Mr. Blum, the nation has changed making that data irrelevant.

Mr. Blum believes too that race-based admission policies in universities are unconstitutional: "I don't think a person's skin color or ethnicity should be a factor in university admissions, ever." The Fisher case:
"Petitioner Abigail Fisher, a white Texan, was denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin for the Fall 2008 entering class. Fisher sued the university, arguing that the denial violated her Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection because she was denied admission to the public university in favor of minority applicants with lesser credentials." [Fisher].
It is obvious that these laws at issue in both cases were effected as remedial action applicable to the discriminatory practices of the South. While racial segregation existed elsewhere - nowhere was it more egregious than in the South.

It is time to move on - might be Mr. Blum's sentiment. Using race or ethnicity as a factor is difficult, if not impossible, to use as a continued justification to right the wrongs of the past sins of the South. Sometime it has to stop - why not now? If not now -when?

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