Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Proposition 2 Aftermath

9. November 2006 • Bruce Fields
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U-M President Coleman gave a speech to a large crowd on the U-M Diag yesterday:

In the short term, we will seek confirmation from the courts to complete this year’s admissions cycle under our current guidelines. We believe we have the right, indeed the obligation, to complete this process using our existing policies. It would be unfair and wrong for us to review students’ applications using two sets of criteria, and we will ask the courts to affirm that we may finish this process using the policies we currently have in place.

...

For our current students, I promise that we will honor all financial commitments we have made to you. This is a contract we have with you, and the University of Michigan honors its contracts.

Your scholarships, fellowships and grants will remain just that: yours. The funds we awarded you are available today, and they will be there for you tomorrow, because the University of Michigan embraces diversity.

...

We know that diversity makes us a better university—better for learning, for teaching, and for conducting research. Affirmative action has been an effective and important tool for creating this rich, invigorating environment.

We believe so strongly in affirmative action that we went before the United States Supreme Court to defend its use, and we prevailed.

Today, I pledge that the University of Michigan will continue that fight.

From the Detroit Free Press:

...University of Michigan officials estimate the combined enrollment of African-American, Hispanic and American Indian students would drop from 14% to about 4%-6% without affirmative action.

More from the Detroit Free Press



  1. The Ann Arbor News Page 1 headline on the speech today was totally misleading, if not to say fraudulent, regardless of how you feel about Prop 2. The headline, which is not supported by the story, reads

    “Hundreds Rally Against Prop 2”

    I was at the gathering. People came to hear a previously announced speech by Coleman about what the university was going to do in response to the passage of Prop 2. It was in no way a “rally against” Prop 2. In fact, the only people holding signs were students (apparently gloating) who held up “Yes on Prop 2” signs. And no one booed or attacked them.

    I don’t know what the News wanted to convey with this headline, but it should have said something like “Coleman Commits U-M to Diversity” because that is what she said, over and over.


       —Michael Betzold    Nov. 9 '06 - 10:44PM    #
  2. The U’s main argument for the future will, I expect, hinge on the idea that it is independent on academic matters under the Michigan constitution. This is what I call the “Sovereign Nation of the University of Michigan” argument.

    The U has lost a variety of arguments over its independence in non-academic matters (such as labor issues). I have no idea how the sovereign nation argument will play out on admissions criteria.

    This is a state-law issue, so whatever the US Supremes said about affirmative action will not be relevant.


       —David Cahill    Nov. 10 '06 - 12:54AM    #
  3. (Deleted a message with a headline in the “Name” field, and with no content not already posted multiple times to another thread.)


       —Bruce Fields    Nov. 10 '06 - 03:46AM    #
  4. Michael:

    C’mon, you can’t be that naive. Like everyone who showed up expected her and the U to reverse their position on prop 2. What was new was exactly how she was going to challenge. I was there too, and I don’t think that headline was misleading at all.


       —Jared Goldberg    Nov. 10 '06 - 04:35AM    #
  5. A friend of mine forwarded me a link to the Detroit News article talking about class-based affirmative action (that’s her in the photo).

    As my comments earlier indicate, I doubt that ignoring racial inequalities will make them go away, but I do think that class-based affirmative action would address many existing inequalities and it evades the “what about poor white guys” argument.

    And Jared, I didn’t go to hear Mary Sue expecting to be at a rally pro-affirmative action rally. If I did, I would have brought signs :-).

    And I don’t think the prop 2 supporters who booed Mary Sue when she talked about promiting diversity expected to be at a rally either either.


       —Chuck    Nov. 10 '06 - 05:48AM    #
  6. Chuck, as I noted on another thread, the “class-based” thing leaves out minorities who have been economically successful, but who are underincluded for whatever other reasons. (Not to mention that UM has ALREADY given “socioeconomic” points for a long time, so it’s not like some innovation or something.)

    As for Mary Sue’s challenges, those are very nice, but don’t necessarily expect them to succeed. (Beyond, say, a temporary stay of MCRI so that UM can use the same standards to pick all classes this year) Where there may be real traction is the MCRI clause about federal funding; if, just say, the new U.S. Democratic House and Senate can pass some laws re funding and affirmative action, MCRI may not be very effective in its destructive goal after all…
       —David Boyle    Nov. 10 '06 - 06:52AM    #
  7. The voters of the State of Michigan have used a legal means to direct the use of their tax dollars. Now U of M will use citizen tax dollars to oppose the clear mandate. Two years ago, U of M should have stopped providing benefits to the sexual partners of homosexuals. How the hell does this continue without someone in the state government enforcing the law and the intent of the majority? Our State Universities should be accountable to citizens and not consider themselves above the law.

    In the absence of affirmative action, all students can take advantage of free public education and free access to public libraries and the internet. Those in failing schools have free access to tutorial assistance. Why doesn’t U of M use the resources it will waste on further lawsuits and instead provide K-12 instruction and resources to all areas of the state that have below average test scores? Why not provide online tutorial software that would teach all students the skills and concepts necessary for success in college? Why not require undergraduates to tutor or mentor? Why not offer an alternative, preparatory year of studies to those individuals who could, with intensive study and effort, be able to overcome prior inadequate education?


       —Everybody counts!    Nov. 10 '06 - 01:40PM    #
  8. I think state funding only makes up a small percentage of the University’s overall budget.


       —John Q.    Nov. 10 '06 - 03:27PM    #
  9. The state provides 26% of revenue to the university.

    http://www.umich.edu/~urel/budget/understanding.html


       —Just a homeowner    Nov. 10 '06 - 04:18PM    #
  10. Thanks. Whatever the percentage is, I do think it causes problems to have the University potentially taking legal action against the proposal. But I’ve never bought into the “my tax dollars…” argument. We don’t let the largest corporate taxpayers in town call the shots just because they pay the most in taxes.


       —John Q.    Nov. 10 '06 - 04:36PM    #
  11. Surely the U could find that 26% from somewhere else and go private. I mean, it might be in the U’s best interest or at least shock some sense into Michiganders.


       —Young OWSider    Nov. 10 '06 - 09:01PM    #
  12. “that 26% from somewhere else and go private.”

    Surely, there’s more to going private than economics. But dwelling on just the economics for the moment, wouldn’t it entail more than coming up with that 26% of revenue currently provided by the legislature? That is, I would think that the U would suddenly have extra expenses in the form of property taxes paid to the City of Ann Arbor. I have no concept if that number of dollars would be a lot or a little compared with the current budget.

    Anyone have an idea how much UM property would throw off in property taxes, if it were taxed? Also, anyone know if there might be some wrinkle that could allow the UM to ‘go private’ yet maintain their property-tax-free status?


       —HD    Nov. 11 '06 - 02:13AM    #
  13. Princeton University paid $8 million last year in property taxes…just as a point of reference.


       —Just a homeowner    Nov. 11 '06 - 03:17AM    #
  14. It was somewhere else that Chuck asked me what I think Prop 2’s opponents could do better, but I think it was in the long and ranty thread that I don’t want to dig through, so I’ll make a comment here.

    Chuck, what I heard from Prop 2’s opponents, those who weren’t merely yelling about racism, was mainly statements about how affirmative action was necessary to provide opportunity to historically, and therefore presently, disadvantaged minorities and women, and how we shouldn’t “roll back progress”. That, and statements about how Ward & Co. were out-of-state special interests who didn’t actually care about these disadvantaged groups, and were just trying to tear things apart.

    The argument about how affirmative action, as represented by UM’s admissions policies, etc, is necessary seemed to me to be totally ineffective against people who questioned the efficacy of affirmative action as currently practiced. A great many people who do see that a problem exists felt that this was a referendum on affirmative action as currently implemented by UM and other high-profile cases. These people, feeling that affirmative action, as currently implemented by UM, is flawed and ineffective at addressing the societal problems they see, didn’t understand the full impact of Prop 2.

    (Also, the “Ward & Co are out-of-state special interests who don’t genuinely care” argument came off as defensive hostility to many people, and as evidence that Prop 2’s opponents didn’t have “real” objections to offer.)

    Where I think Prop 2’s opponents could have done better is by expanding the general electorate’s understanding of race- and gender-based “preferences”. Obviously, Prop 2 has the potential to be far more far-reaching and damaging than just the current practice in University admissions.

    Could Prop 2 be used to tear down programs such as UM’s “Women in Science and Engineering” program as providing preferential treatment based on gender? I’m worried that it could be. Could it be used to attack programs for high school women who are pregnant or mothers? Programs that allow them to leave the traditional classroom and continue their schooling in alternative environments that provide them with support in being mothers, rather than forcing them to choose between their children and a diploma? I’m worried that it could.

    Whenever I was able to convince somebody that Prop 2 was a bad, bad idea, this was my approach. I found that people I knew, intelligent people who understood the problems that affirmative action is intended to address, and supported the addressing of those problems, were undecided about Prop 2, because they saw affirmative action as represented by UM’s admissions, as ineffective. Offer them up a few examples of how programs completely unrelated to UM’s admissions could be endangered, and they easily made up their minds to vote against Prop 2.

    Think of it this way: telling undecided voters, “stem cell research doesn’t actually kill babies, and could help find cures for diseases,” does nothing to help them make up their minds. Having Michael J. Fox and Nancy Reagan stand up and say, “Here’s what stem cell research could have done for me,” makes up people’s minds fast.


       —Murph.    Nov. 11 '06 - 08:04PM    #
  15. the “center for equal opportunity” in virginia, whomever they may be, claims that the median SAT scores of asian students admitted to the university of michigan in 2005 was 50 points higher than that of their white counterparts.

    a front page article in today’s WSJ focused on a student with the maximum 2400 score on his SAT, 2390 on his SAT2, in the top 1% of his livingston NJ HS class, turned down by harvard, princeton, and stanford. the 17-year old asian student is now a freshman at yale. (and suing princeton. i can’t help but mention that this fits precisely the princeton stereotype of the eli.)

    the WSJ article also notes that berkeley’s freshman class this year is nearly 42% asian.

    i reckon umich will experience a comparable “asian invasion.”

    (bring ‘em on, sez i. heh.)


       —peter honeyman    Nov. 12 '06 - 01:48AM    #
  16. “And Jared, I didn’t go to hear Mary Sue expecting to be at a rally pro-affirmative action rally. If I did, I would have brought signs :-).”

    Chuck:

    The University’s stance, as well as Mary Sue’s, has always been to defend affirmative action. They wouldn’t have gone to the Supreme Court if they were ambivalent or only half-heartedly supporting it.

    It would also be naive of anyone to think that the passage of prop 2 would suddenly make the administration change its mind. That really only leaves one purpose for her speaking: to support affirmative action and to state how they’re going to defend that now that prop 2 has passed.


       —Jared Goldberg    Nov. 12 '06 - 05:07AM    #
  17. Maybe this is when we should start to ask why the Detroit Public Schools, and other schools, are not educating these students so they are as ready as anyone to take advantage of UMich’s educational opportunities. I know that kids in Detroit and elsewhere may not have as many material resources in their homes, but surely the schools can do better.


       —Just a homeowner    Nov. 13 '06 - 05:17PM    #
  18. You bear no responsibility for your fellow Michiganders, your fellow Americans?


       —Redress    Nov. 13 '06 - 06:47PM    #
  19. “I know that kids in Detroit and elsewhere may not have as many material resources in their homes, but surely the schools can do better.”

    May not? I would call that the classic understatement. I think the real problem with the discussion over AA is that most people don’t have a clue how bad so many kids in Detroit have it and how many obstacles they face. Not only have they never walked in the shoes of these kids, they couldn’t survive a week in the shoes of these kids. Yet, they act as if these kids are getting some kind of special advantage in life when their lives have been nothing but filled with disadvantages.


       —John Q.    Nov. 13 '06 - 08:44PM    #
  20. That’s true. But if schools can’t do anything to remediate the inequity, then let’s stop pretending they can. Let’s decide what will help. Is it really getting kids into college when they are unprepared to do the work? Is it getting proper nutrition to infants? Is it giving public money to impoverished families?

    I think the problem with AA starts long before high school students apply to college.


       —Just a homeowner    Nov. 13 '06 - 08:52PM    #
  21. Thinking about post #15, the founding professor of my college used to go to the Provost’s and the Dean of Admission’s offices and complain on a regular basis that they needed to admit more ‘C’ students. He got very frustrated over the years teaching ‘A’ students who in his words, “would not take risks” and therefore “did not understand failure and how to recover from it”. His further contention was that American primary and secondary education did not teach students to explore, but to remember. I asked further about this once to see if he had a thought about what kind of ‘C’ students he wanted and he said he really didn’t want student who got all C’s; he said he had more respect for students who failed courses once in a while, but not from not showing up, but because they were challenging the professors. My question is should a large institution (like U of M or any other) only have the most elite students (grade wise) attending? If the premise is that we want diversity in culture should we also not want some diversity in grade point average? Can’t that get tossed into the mix so that local, under privileged kids could attend here?
    I’m looking for a win / win thing.


       —abc    Nov. 13 '06 - 10:09PM    #
  22. I asked further about this once to see if he had a thought about what kind of ‘C’ students he wanted and he said he really didn’t want student who got all C’s; he said he had more respect for students who failed courses once in a while, but not from not showing up, but because they were challenging the professors.

    Given the scale of the UM admissions process (tens of thousands of applicants?), I doubt they can afford to look for that kind of student.


       —Bruce Fields    Nov. 13 '06 - 10:16PM    #
  23. I apologize in advance for the long post, but I feel the email sent to everybody at UM today is relevant to this discussion. Mary Sue Coleman is claiming she can’t conform to Prop 2 because of Federal law. Why bother to vote – they’re going to do what they damn well please anyhow. Someone with standing will have to come up with millions of dollars for legal expenses in order to fight a huge contingent of lawyers from the law school. Here’s today’s email (sent by Laurita Thomas):

    In the wake of last week’s vote on Proposal 2, I want to provide some important clarifications concerning the effect of the proposal on U-M as an employer.

    As President Coleman stated in her remarks to the community last Wednesday, “The University of Michigan embraces, promotes, wants, and believes in diversity.” The passage of Proposal 2 does not change our commitment, nor does it alter our employment practices or the protections and requirements of various federal and state laws including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, which prohibits a wide array of discrimination extending far beyond issues of race and gender.

    We must continue to work diligently to recruit and retain the best faculty and staff by creating a community that seeks, welcomes and defends diversity. We will do so in compliance with state and federal laws, and federal law requires that we continue to take affirmative steps (known as affirmative action) in our employment process in order to adhere to the equal employment opportunity and affirmative action provisions of Executive Order 11246 regarding race, gender, color, religion and national origin required of all federal contractors. Proposal 2 specifically states that it does not prohibit actions that are required to establish or maintain eligibility for any federal program, if ineligibility would result in a loss of federal funds to the state.

    WHAT THIS MEANS FOR U-M AS AN EMPLOYER

    * The University’s nondiscrimination policy remains in full force and effect (see SPG 201.35 http://spg.umich.edu/pdf/201.35.pdf). * A host of federal and state civil rights laws, including those discussed above, continue to be in effect and applicable to the University. * The University must continue to adhere to all the requirements of Executive Order 11246. * As it relates to the employment process, Executive Order 11246 requires all federal contractors, such as U-M, to take affirmative steps to ensure its employment process is fair and equitable and offers equal opportunity in hiring and employment. The types of affirmative steps required include a focus on recruiting and outreach, such as casting the widest net possible when conducting an employment search. * EO 11246 also requires that federal contractors not discriminate against job applicants or employees. * The University’s standard statement in employment ads, “A Non-Discriminatory/Affirmative Action Employer” or similar language such as “Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer” is required by EO 11246 and must continue to be used.

    Although questions remain about the full impact of the proposal as well as its applicability to higher education, we remain vigorously committed to the advancement of equal opportunities for all.

    If you have questions regarding the University’s nondiscrimination statement, diversity, or affirmative action, please contact the Office of Institutional Equity .


       —Everybody counts!    Nov. 14 '06 - 12:26AM    #
  24. he said he had more respect for students who failed courses once in a while

    My father was on the admissions committee at the Medical School for many years. He said it was so difficult because they often only interviewed people with 4.0 averages who had never failed at anything in their lives. They had always wanted to be doctors and had the resources to do it. Everyone interviewing felt that these people would not necessarily make the best doctors, because the pool was, if anything, too good and too similar. So a few people stood out: the man who had failed out of college on his first try but then went back several years later to do very well. The woman who had wanted to be a garbage truck driver until she was 16. Those were the ones who were interesting and who might make the best doctors. Everyone else was a perfect genius who had no concept of how to deal with failure (which is inevitable at some point in medicine).

    So with apologies to Flickr, I think the University should admit people who have high “interestingness.” Along with minimum test scores, high school, and all the standard acceptable criteria, you add on an interestingness score. Any deviation from the standard Michigan applicant could be considered interesting. Grow up in poverty? That would be interesting. Cake baker to the stars at age 10? Interesting. Never set foot out of your home town? Interesting. Professional worm eater? Interesting. This would take into consideration the a person’s overall contribution to the diversity of the student body in all of its facets. So while an upper-class white man might not be interesting on his own, if he went to an all-girls high school, that would be interesting. If he was raised by his step-father in Ecuador, that would be interesting. If he could tap dance, that would be interesting. So much of the learning done at a University is done because of the people around you. If everyone is the same, there is no challenge. Interestingness could help.


       —Juliew    Nov. 14 '06 - 12:39AM    #
  25. “That’s true. But if schools can’t do anything to remediate the inequity, then let’s stop pretending they can. Let’s decide what will help. Is it really getting kids into college when they are unprepared to do the work? Is it getting proper nutrition to infants? Is it giving public money to impoverished families?... I think the problem with AA starts long before high school students apply to college.”

    This sounds great. Problem is: Prop 2 wasn’t “abolish affirmative action AND equalize Michigan k-12 education.” It was just “abolish affirmative action.” So we’re back to square one: Crappy schools that the majority isn’t interested in fixing, and the top university in the state white as the driven snow. If the majority thinks that racial preferences are immoral, fair enough. But to act as though this was anything but an unequivocal blow to underrepresented minorities is just foolish.

    “In the absence of affirmative action, all students can take advantage of free public education and free access to public libraries and the internet.”

    How precisely did Prop 2 do that? Magic?


       —Daniel Adams    Nov. 14 '06 - 01:35AM    #
  26. I employ U of M students part-time. The best and by far the most intelligent student working for me right now is a black man who graduated from Detroit Public schools. At 21 years old, he and his twin are the sole means of support for his single parented family of five. (Mom and 2 younger brothers) He works nearly 40 hours per week and takes 16 credit hours in a biochem major. He can’t afford books, so he borrows from other students or gets the old version from the library. He doesn’t own a computer. He borrowed Kaplan materials to study for the MCAT and scored high enough to be admitted to any Medical School in the state. The family doesn’t own a car, so he usually walks 8 miles one way to get to class to save the bus fare. He’s the guy everyone goes to for tutoring.

    And yet, everywhere he goes on campus, strangers assume his presence is due to affirmative action. Skin color and poverty do not cause low IQ. It’s not magic Dan. He just took advantage of every resource available to him – free public education (K – 12) and free access to public libraries and the Internet. And, he’s worked his ass off under conditions where most lose hope.


       —Everybody counts!    Nov. 14 '06 - 03:15AM    #
  27. “I reckon umich will experience a comparable “asian invasion.”

    (bring ‘em on, sez i. heh.)

    —peter honeyman Nov 11, 08:48 PM #” <p> “asian invasion”?
       —David Boyle    Nov. 14 '06 - 04:18AM    #
  28. “everywhere he goes on campus, strangers assume his presence is due to affirmative action.”

    Who knows, maybe AA is responsible for him being on campus. And so what? The fact that people assume anything just goes to show that too many people still judge on the basis of looks and race, not on the person. I think that says more about his fellow students than about the student himself.

    The bigger question is if he is there because of AA, would the Unversity be a better place without him there? That’s what you have been advocating, isn’t it?


       —John Q.    Nov. 14 '06 - 07:07AM    #
  29. No, He is not here because of AA. He is highly qualified and has earned his spot. The University is much better because he is here.

    But those who attend UM only because of AA, who aren’t prepared for rigorous study, do not make the University better. They lower the level of instruction making an undergraduate degree less valuable and requiring grad school in order to obtain the same level of education that used to be available as an undergrad.


       —Everybody counts!    Nov. 14 '06 - 01:53PM    #
  30. Nonsense. You need diversity among slackers, too.


       —Nitro    Nov. 14 '06 - 02:35PM    #
  31. “And yet, everywhere he goes on campus, strangers assume his presence is due to affirmative action. Skin color and poverty do not cause low IQ. It’s not magic Dan. He just took advantage of every resource available to him – free public education (K – 12) and free access to public libraries and
    the Internet. And, he’s worked his ass off under conditions where most lose hope.”

    Facinating, but not an answer to my question. I want to know: How did Prop 2 help “all students… take advantage of free public education and free access to public libraries and the internet?”

    Really, this is nothing more than the ol’ “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” bullshit that’s constantly peddled by men and women that, for the most part, have had it handed to them on a platter. That this guy was able to do it doesn’t excuse our failure as a state and as a nation to work harder eliminate this sort of struggle and equalize public education.

    Prior to Prop 2, underrepresented minorities could decide for themselves whether the education was worth dealing with the stigma associated with affimative action admissions. You’ve taken that choice away. Congrats.

    “But those who attend UM only because of AA, who aren’t prepared for rigorous study, do not make the University better.”

    Debatable.

    “They lower the level of instruction making an undergraduate degree less valuable and requiring grad school in order to obtain the same level of education that used to be available as an undergrad.”

    Really. What class did you have at UM in which the professor consciously and deliberately lowered the level of instruction in order to teach to the underrepresented minorities? Or is this just a hunch?

    Moreover, I find the suggestion that affirmative action students have decreased the value of a undergrad degree totally absurd. What makes you think this? Another hunch?


       —Daniel Adams    Nov. 14 '06 - 03:18PM    #
  32. “I think the problem with AA starts long before high school students apply to college.”

    Yeah, we need an education revolution in this country. I am not sure I like the word ‘interestingness’ as it can possibly include a professional worm eater, but I like that it includes a child brought up in Ecuador. If administrators in an educational environment took there jobs seriously they would be working constantly to fertilize (diversify) their system, however most are just content to keep watering (finance). It is easier to prove that you watered and to show just how much water you provided. The effects of fertilization needs to be compared to something else and is more work, but every good educator knows that this is an exponentially better approach. (It is also interesting because diversifying your environment can take many forms and has few limits.)

    Why is this important in a discussion of Affirmative Action; because in some ways I see AA as an accounting problem. The administrators with the watering hoses like hiring ‘A’ students who guarantee a level of performance which proves their administrative abilities, “once again U of M is in the top 25 schools blah, blah, blah” (not trying to pick on U of M). They too are risk averse; they are a product of this system. However those administrators who reach out to the applicants with ‘interestingness’ or structure their programs differently find themselves defending their decisions to administrators, accreditation boards, etc. because their program is difficult to account for. I truly believe that we judge the success and failure of our education system in the wrong way, which greatly contributes to why we do not seek out and embrace all kinds of diversity.

    So in the end I believe AA is an artificial approach to ensuring diversity and I actually believe that administrators who are truly committed to education, and not just proving their own self worth, could solve this issue without AA. I also admit though that this may not ever happen because, despite the efforts of those who fertilize, constant watering will wash the fertilizer right into the river.


       —abc    Nov. 14 '06 - 03:33PM    #
  33. “No, He is not here because of AA. He is highly qualified and has earned his spot. The University is much better because he is here.”

    How do you know this? Did you sit in on the admissions process? If not, you can’t really say whether he was a beneficiary of AA or not, can you?

    The reality is that all black students applying to U-M do benefit from AA even if they have academic qualifications equal to other students. This is also true of scholarship athletes, children of alumni and residents of Michigan, all whom get the admissions system tilted in their favor. This is not meant to diminish the qualifications of this student but to point out that the process is “biased” in many ways and it’s not just on the issues of race and sex.


       —John Q.    Nov. 14 '06 - 04:02PM    #
  34. “So with apologies to Flickr, I think the University should admit people who have high “interestingness.” Along with minimum test scores, high school, and all the standard acceptable criteria, you add on an interestingness score.”

    That’s a neat idea, and I’ve heard certain moderately-selective private schools speak of this with some pride. I mean, while they admire the prestige that comes from a knockout student body, they’re proud to be a place where kids without perfect records and kids with some risk in their profiles can blossom.

    That said, I could pessimistically foresee some pretty outraged reaction. Some citizens in Michigan feel their children are entitled to a spot at the state flagship if they are high achievers. They won’t stomach being denied a spot knowing that someone more “interesting” (but less accomplished) got in.


       —Intrigued    Nov. 14 '06 - 07:34PM    #
  35. “Some citizens in Michigan feel their children are entitled to a spot at the state flagship if they are high achievers.”

    Isn’t that how this campaign got started?!?!

    Sounds like the Jennifer Gratz story to me, except that as I recall she wasn’t even a “high achiever.”

    Difference is that when certain well-to-do white folks are denied, they can mobilize racism to change the rules even more to their favor.

    Only in America!


       —Ward Connerly    Nov. 15 '06 - 12:52AM    #
  36. By the way, there is some irony in this. Is anyone familiar with the proposition in Washington State? It is my understanding that U-W went to the courts after the anti-AA proposition passed and proposed using a system based on U-M’s. And it was approved.

    If that’s the case, then maybe U-M’s current system isn’t really challenged by Prop 2.

    I want to know more details, because surely Connerly et al were aware of the Washington situation. Did they craft some language differences that mean the Washington case won’t be a precedent?


       —Intrigued    Nov. 15 '06 - 10:30PM    #
  37. I’m not a lawyer and I’ve never heard of the anti-AA proposal in the state of Washington before I read your post. I don’t think a case in another state can be used as precedent in Michigan until it is appealed to a court that does have jurisdiction in our state. If an activist judge in the state of Washington sets a precedent, it would hve to work it’s way through the court system to the Supreme Court of the U.S. before it can apply to Michigan. Am I wrong?


       —Everybody counts!    Nov. 16 '06 - 04:22PM    #
  38. I don’t think it’s a matter of whether the precendence would apply to Michigan legally as much as one would make the argument that if the legal argument is acceptable to one court, it could be acceptable to a court here in Michigan. Not having any details on what was posted, I would have no idea whether there’s any merit to the idea or not.


       —John Q.    Nov. 16 '06 - 04:56PM    #