The SCOTUS scored a hat trick last week.
This editorial ran in today’s Moscow-Pullman Daily News.
The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled on three significant cases last week. One was President Biden’s college debt forgiveness plan (Dept. of Education vs. Brown), which would have forced those who did not go into college debt to now pay for those who did.
With 73% of that debt accruing to households in the top 60% of income, it would have been a redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top. From the start, however, this was an unconstitutional move by Biden. As Nancy Pelosi stated back in 2021, the president cannot cancel student loans unilaterally without an Act of Congress.
We have an expression in the US submarine force: “The stupid shall be punished.” If someone secures a $100k loan for an Underwater Basket Weaving degree that qualifies them for a $40,000 job, it should not fall on trade school graduates to subsidize collegiate stupidity. The fault lies with the student (and his parents) pursuing a worthless degree, and the universities that encourage extravagant loans for such degrees.
The second SCOTUS ruling (Students for Fair Admissions) covered Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion college admissions policies. Against Harvard College and the University of North Carolina, SCOTUS ruled that race-based admissions violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Justice Thomas wrote that while he’s “painfully aware of the social and economic ravages which have befallen my race and all who suffer discrimination, I hold out enduring hope that this country will live up to its principles so clearly enunciated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States: that all men are created equal, are equal citizens, and must be treated equally before the law.”
In my graduate school economics class, the professor argued that affirmative action backfires on its good intentions. When a black woman gets a law degree, people wonder: Did she earn it? Or was she merely an affirmative action promotion like Ketanji Brown Jackson? The ensuing doubt draws attention away from the person’s merit and ultimately discourages people from hiring a minority, competent or not.
Yet progressives who claim that blacks will be irreparably harmed without affirmative action have no problem with the concept when considering Asians. One study shows that when considering SAT scores and college admission, Asians take a 140-point penalty while Hispanics are given a 130-point advantage and blacks a 310-point advantage.
Court Documents show that Harvard uses an academic index that integrates test scores and GPA with race. In the lowest decile (10%), Asians have 0.9% chance of being admitted while blacks have 12.8% chance of being admitted. In the top decile, Asians have 12.7% chance of being admitted. That’s how wide the disparities are.
Each school should have the freedom to enroll however it wants. But if it wants to take taxpayer money, then it needs to follow federal law and not discriminate. This isn’t a hardship since Harvard has a $54 billion endowment.
We’ve seen this in civil service tests. If they cannot get the racial results they want for blacks and Hispanics, they dumb down until they do, or they eliminate the test entirely. Same with the SAT and ACT tests. They never say, “work harder. Try again next time.” Standards and skills are lost in exchange for skin color. Claims of discrimination in the workplace result in lesser-qualified candidates hired and promoted because of what they look like. Progressives’ idea of equal treatment is their own blind spot: by scrambling for non-racist solutions, they spend their time actively drawing lines between races.
The third SCOTUS decision (303 Creative LLC v. Elenis) concerned a Christian graphic designer in Colorado who declined customers wanting gay wedding website designs SCOTUS ruled that to force this designer to engage in designing gay couple websites or risk being stripped of her company and ability to earn a living was unlawful. It is comparable to forcing a Jewish deli to provide ham sandwiches. Individuals and companies can deny service when it violates their faith.
Nothing that requires the labor of another person is a human right – that would be slavery.
This was a great week for equality and personal freedom.