Grutter v Bollinger

Two parties enter, one party leaves!

Whew, I am all sorts of apathetic today. I have life ennui! On the other hand,this is my 50th entry. Happy 50! Whoo. I did get to do some work with the law suits that the U is involved in which was rather interesting. Not that I was doing anything in any real capacity that would determine the sway of the verdict but rather I was typing all the Amici Curiae headings into a table of contents for the collection we are gathering at the library. Fun fun! I discovered a few neat things along the way though, like the singular of Amici is Amicus and it’s always italicized. Except on those occasions when it’s not. I haven’t really figured the hard and fast rule for that yet, but mostly the phrase is in italics. Mostly. Also, you don’t seem to need any prepositions to connect it with the rest of the sentence. Maybe that makes sense, I just looked it up and it means “Friend of the court” but it looks weird to have Brief of Amicus Curiae National Foundation of Things and Stuff in print. I want a Amicus Curiae for or of or to or something.

Oh yeah, law suits. Well, here is the UM Law School’s whole collection of info on that if you are into some reading. In a nutshell, a prospective student felt that she was discriminated against because she is not a minority and did not get into the Law School. She is suing the U for having an unfair admissions policy. Now there are a bunch of other people either writing these brief in her favor (for the Petitioner) or in the University’s favor (for the Respondent). Yeah, I learned the whole Petitioner and Respondent thing too while going through these. So, while typing these things up I was curious to see who was for or against. Or in the case of these four neither party. How can you not be for one or the other? If you are not for the U, aren’t you against it then? To me, it seems like a situation similar to being “sorta” pregnant. I haven’t read their briefs yet but I’m sure they will explain to me why they feel they have a third alternative to a black or white situation. Heh, black or white, I slay me!

Moving on. There seem to be a ton of people for the U and not so many against which I find pretty satisfactory. G. Dubbya filed a Brief for the “United States as Amicus Curiae Supporting Petitioner” which sort of surprised me. I mean, can he DO that? Do we give him the power to say these things when we elect him president without him taking the trouble to find out what the nation thinks? What if most of the people in the US are against the Petitioner? I really need to brush up on my politics. Of course, the “Honorable John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, Governor” also had to file something cuz he didn’t want to look like a sissy boy after G. Dubbya said somp’n. No siree bob. Heh, that cracks me up…”Honorable Jeb Bush”. That alone made my day for about a week. Honorable Jeb Bush *chucklesnort* Here’s an oddity tho, the Center for New Black Leadership is also siding with the Petitioner. So is the Asian American Legal Foundation. One would think that minority organizations would be in favor of the policy, not against.

The people for the University are pretty interesting too. Of course there is this and that minority organization (minus the Asian American Legal Foundation and the Center for the New Black Leadership of course) and several thousand universities and colleges which seems pretty par for the course. The list of colleges and Universities is pretty impressive though, we got Cal Tech, Harvard, Yale, Case Western, Northwestern, Georgetown University, and Cornell for starters. Then there are the businesses who are all for the U like IBM, 3M, (M&M – no not really but it sounded like it ought to go there no?), American Airlines, Microsoft, GM, the Coca-cola Co., Nike, Xerox, P&G, Kraft, and on and on with representation from all sorts of different places and things. You got your computers, chem dudes, flying dudes, food dudes and others all wanting this admissions policy thing to stay put. Pretty amazing actually, even the medical people have something to say.

The Association of American Medical Colleges sums it up fairly well in their brief with “It is unfortunate that we are still at a point in our history where underrepresented minority candidates for medical schools simply cannot compete with non-minorities in terms of their MCAT scores and GPAs.” I think they found the heart of the matter with that single statement and I think it rankles a lot of people. I am not in favor at all for any racial biasing (except Chinese Restaurants, I am OK with them exclusively hiring Chinese people for weight staff in order to maintain a certain atmosphere. Shut up, it’s my opinion I can have it if I want to!) but in this case, I have to agree with the U. I have also seen the admissions policy which gives 15 points out of a possible 250-300 points total for being a minority. Also in that same category are being from a low income family, a legacy or a male nursing student and it’s an either or thing. You cant be an Asian male nurse from a poor family who’s mother graduated from the U and rack up all sorts of tasty admissions points. In my mind, that’s pretty fair.

Besides, the majority of the points are dedicated to one category: High School grades. 2/3rds of the points can be gained in this one category alone (I cant remember what the points were exactly, 150-200?) which makes that 15 points start to seem a bit paltry. Sat/ACT scores? Not as big a deal but still bigger than any race/leadership/who you know category (I cant remember the test points exactly either…50 maybe? Really, I am pulling these numbers from my collective butt memory which has been known to fail catastrophically but the overall percentages are pretty on more or less). Mostly the U wants you to have done well in High School so it’s not like people are getting in because they got to check the “Native American” box or the “Korean” box.

Well, so occasionally maybe a minority gets in by checking a box. In some cases that box puts a minority candidate over a majority candidate who may have done a bit better academically but not so much in the leadership area or maybe who’s family makes too much money or whatever other box they couldn’t check. Then those 15 points put the other person over the top and it’s seen as racial preferential treatment. It’s not right, but then again it’s not right that maybe that minority person was unable to be as academically proficient because of their school systems. A lot of minorities do not come from great school systems. Maybe if they had the same opportunities that the majority person had, they would have beat them out anyway in academics and it would be a moot point.

So my official who really cares position on this whole thing is, let the U continue with it’s policy until such time as all primary schools get the funding they need to graduate equally educated children from everywhere. The U’s policy is a pretty poor band-aid solution but it is at least a solution in place until such time that the real problem can be addressed.

You know, I really need to get myself rolling on those classes; it would be nice to make a difference in some kids education someday so that they have a better opportunity do do stuff that they want.

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