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Ersatz

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Re: Group launches bid to ban affirmative action
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2007, 06:45:14 PM »
yes

I actually meant to limit my comment to public schools / universities, not statewide effect, but I realize I didn't say that. I really get the feeling that affirmative action has just been replaced by "holistic review," at least when it comes to public universities in California.  Or it could be coincidental that the beneficiaries of holistic review have largely been historically underrepresented minorities, I don't know.

1654134681665465

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Re: Group launches bid to ban affirmative action
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2007, 03:14:25 PM »
Did Prop 209 really change anything in California or is AA still unofficially in action?  According to the most reliable source in the world (wikipedia) it caused minority graduation rates to increase, although minority acceptance rates slightly decreased.  I don't know if any of this is true or not. 

Ersatz

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Re: Group launches bid to ban affirmative action
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2007, 08:18:20 PM »
Did Prop 209 really change anything in California or is AA still unofficially in action?  According to the most reliable source in the world (wikipedia) it caused minority graduation rates to increase, although minority acceptance rates slightly decreased.  I don't know if any of this is true or not. 

That's pretty much accurate. I'm not going to remember the exact figures right now because I can't remember where I read them, but I did read a law review article that evaluated the actual impact of Prop 209 on minorities in higher education institutions in CA. If I recall correctly, admission of URMs to Berkeley and UCLA dropped off by 40-50% following Prop 209; however, admission of URMs to UC Riverside and UC Santa Cruz inreased by equally significant amounts - one of them was ~30% and the other something like 80%.  The minority graduation rates increased across the board, though I don't recall the percentages (something under 10%, I think).

What basically happened, at least if I'm remembering the statistics right, is that following Prop 209, higher public learning institutions in CA essentially underwent a forced correction.  The URM students that lacked the academic credentials to get into e.g. Berkeley went instead to Riverside, and *overall* URM admission / enrollment did not decrease significantly, as was the prediction - those students just got redistributed, essentially, to places that are arguably a more appropriate fit for many of them from a GPA / SAT numerical point of view.

1654134681665465

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Re: Group launches bid to ban affirmative action
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2007, 09:38:59 PM »
I love how proponents of AA think that the world will end if AA is reversed, but instead nothing nearly as catostrophic happens-in fact there are even several positives. 

philibusters

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Re: Group launches bid to ban affirmative action
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2007, 09:30:34 PM »
I love how proponents of AA think that the world will end if AA is reversed, but instead nothing nearly as catostrophic happens-in fact there are even several positives. 

Nobody thinks the world will end.  It comes down to is AA good policy, does the legal community and country as a whole benefit from affirmative action.  I said it in other posts, but I'll say again, that should be the standard will judge AA by whether it makes the country and legal community better, its pointless to go over and over whether each individual deserves it, one thats unquantifiable and secondly I think you will find a lot of individual recipients might not deserve if you actually found a criteria to judge by that everybody could agree on but that doesn't mean the legal community and country don't benefit.
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School

1654134681665465

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Re: Group launches bid to ban affirmative action
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2007, 11:47:38 PM »
I agree that there might be some benefits to AA, but then the question becomes do the ends justify the means?  I don't agree with using a policy that has discriminatory features to help right (or to attempt to do so) the wrongs of the past.  Discriminatory policies of the past are an awful chapter in the history of our country and there have been significant steps to get rid of them.  Using modern, specifically tailored discrimination is still discrimination. 

philibusters

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Re: Group launches bid to ban affirmative action
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2007, 08:32:35 AM »
I agree that there might be some benefits to AA, but then the question becomes do the ends justify the means?  I don't agree with using a policy that has discriminatory features to help right (or to attempt to do so) the wrongs of the past.  Discriminatory policies of the past are an awful chapter in the history of our country and there have been significant steps to get rid of them.  Using modern, specifically tailored discrimination is still discrimination. 

I think you are more idealistic than me. 

As for my analysis, I think the ends justify the means.  Discrimination is not all equal.  I agree its not desirable to have social institutions like law schools distinguishing on the basis of race, but lets be honest when they do, the effect of non-URM's is limited.  If they were close to getting into Michigan and were one of the borderline applicants affected by AA its not like they will have to go to a fourth tier school, they might end up at Duke or Cornell instead.  Whereas other discrimination can be systematic, enforced by the police force of the government, and whose main objective is is to make a two tiered system with one race on the bottom. I don't think those two types of discrimination are morally comparable, only ideally or abstractly can you call them by the same word.

Since I focus on the small practical effect of AA on those it harms, of course the ends justify the means.  Exactly how much benefit is derived from AA is hard to tell.  I think it does help URM's, hopefully helps create a professional class of urm's, gives poorer urm's more excess to professional help (lawyers, doctors, et cetera).  It also helps the legal community, we are a self-regulated profession, the advantage of being self-regulated is we are regulated by somebody else-I think the impetus for AA in the legal field is that the legal community is less responsive to change in society as a whole than other institutions because of self-regulation, thus we need to make effort to keep up with trends in society, in the same way if we got rid of the model rules of behavior in states, the government would start to regulate the ethics of legal field (like they already have with the Sarbanes-Oxley bill) if we don't incorporate urms who are VASTLY UNDER-NUMBERED, we fall behind society and open ourselves to outside criticism, which brings all aspects of our self-regulation in to question. 

Also AA was born of political parents, lets not assume it doesn't serve political goals still.  And there may be very tangible benefits to society as a whole by having urm lawyers.  Racial acceptance won't come about if you can stereotype minorities but if you see URM doctors and lawyers that break stereotype you are probably on your way to racial recovery because they people with prejudices face hard questions. 

These are a few of the reasons, AA can make policy sense, if you weigh the ends (AA policy goals) against the means (the harm it causes to non-URM's in the admission process) I think its a no-brainer.
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School