The Right Coast

June 23, 2004
Roger Clegg on Racial Preferences
By Mike Rappaport

Roger Clegg discusses some of the actions that opponents of racial preferences have been taking in the wake of last year's Grutter decision. (Hat tip: Betsy's Page.)

Opponents of preferences have not quietly folded their tents on gone away. Ward Connerly has launched a drive to ban preferences at ground zero: Michigan. While this ballot initiative has faced several hurdles (including a lack of support from the Republican establishment and court challenges), it remains on track. Indeed, the Michigan house this month passed an amendment to the state's higher-education bill that bans preferences, and a state supreme court decision there suggests that existing state law might already illegalize what the university is doing.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Scholars has systematically enlisted its state affiliates to send freedom-of-information requests to state schools, asking for documents bearing on whether those schools use preferences and, if so, how exactly they work: who is preferred, who is not, how heavily the preferences are weighted, and so forth. NAS has made clear that the schools can expect this request every year. Many schools are indicating that they don't use preferences; others still do, but the effect of the information requests is to make these schools more vulnerable to public, legislative, and courtroom pressure.