Think Affirmative Action Ends At The Admissions Office?

Think Again.

On a side note, I was randomly looking at the Harvard Law Review's membership criterion only to find this gem of soft bigotry: "The remaining editors are selected on a discretionary basis. Some of these discretionary slots may be used to implement the Review's affirmative action policy." These racialists at least fess up to the serious problem with any defense of de jure group preferences: how and why can we demarcate acceptable from unacceptable prejudice? I've always wondered why the double standards should end at the door of the admissions office? Why not have separate tests, separate write-on competitions, separate hiring programs, separate class enrollments, separate mock trial competitions?

But wait, there's more. Grant, the author of the above-mentioned blog and a law student at Georgetown, points to the following outrageous article.

While about 13% of the law school's students are black, none of those students has been selected for at least the past two years to work on any of the school's three student-run law journals, including the most prestigious, the Vanderbilt Law Review. The numbers weren't much higher in previous years.

The reasons for the black students' exclusion are mysterious. The journals, which publish scholarly articles on legal issues, add about 90 students each year based on grades and writing samples. Judges don't know whose writing they're reading, and administrators say outside experts have found that there's no racial bias in the writing assignment. Professors grade their students' work ''blindly'' as well.

Mysterious? Why is this mysterious? Assuming these statements are true, and the grading is truly blind, there is no mystery here. The students who submitted the best writing samples and earned the best grades simply happened to not be black. Where's the mystery? Why should we expect students with the highest academic performance to meet some pre-determined quota of acceptable racial makeup?

Of course, when we consider the fact that many schools lower their initial admissions standards through racial preferences, it comes as no surprise when those who do get admitted under lower standards are under-represented in later merit-based activities.

Don't worry, though: if lowering admissions standards for law school causes unforseen problems, we can always lower admissions standards for journal selection too.

other black students said the emphasis on grades was troublesome, though they said they haven't been able to get any grading breakdowns from the school that would help them explore how African-Americans are stacking up. They said journal selections should be based on students' abilities to make intelligent, persuasive legal arguments in writing rather than on their performances on final exams.

The real kicker comes at the end:

''It's a big advantage when you're trying for jobs,'' Hughes said. ''I wouldn't necessarily call it an important part of the law school experience. But I've missed out on an opportunity I think I deserved to have.''

No, Miss Hughes. While you deserve the opportunity to apply for admission to Law Review, you most certainly do not deserve to be accepted if you do not meet the necessary academic criteria.

Share this

I've never been a huge fan

I've never been a huge fan of Justice Scalia, but man did he nail it perfectly when he wrote in the U. Michigan Law School dissent (quoting from memory, may be off by a word or two):

"I always thought the purpose of law school was to produce lawyers."

Apparently not...