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Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The report by the The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida says 84 percent of white and 56 percent of black basketball players at those colleges graduate--a 6 percentage-point increase for white basketball players and a 2 percentage-point increase for black players over last year's study.
Friday, March 19, 2010
As reported in the Salt Lake Tribune, the backers of the proposed amendment were just shy of getting enough legislative votes to put the measure on the ballot this fall. They needed 50 votes in the state House of Representatives, but, as a result of four Republicans representatives' refusal to join other GOP members in supporting the bill, they appeared to have just 49 votes locked down as lawmakers wrapped up their 2010 session..
Legislative leaders have agreed to study the issue, and it appears likely the measure will come up again next year.
Friday, March 12, 2010
The assistant secretary for civil rights, Russlynn H. Ali, angered conservatives by saying the department would start using "disparate-impact" analysis, which attempts to prove discrimination not through direct evidence of racist acts, but through numerical data showing that policies have a disproportionate impact on certain groups of people. The approach is controversial because numerical gaps in educational participation often can be linked to factors other than deliberate discrimination, such as gaps in educational preparation linked to culture, immigrant status, or socioeconomic class.
The U.S. Supreme Court barred the use of disparate-impact analysis as the basis of private lawsuits against federally supported state agencies in a 2001 decision. The majority opinion, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, said the civil-rights law at issue in the case, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, does not specifically give private citizens the right to sue to ensure that its provisions are enforced. As discussed at length in Color and Money, the Clinton administration came under intense criticism for--and eventually abandoned--proposed regulations warning college admissions offices not to rely too heavily on standardized tests that were thought to be biased against minority students or women based on disparate-impact analysis.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
As reportered by Color and Money author Peter Schmidt in The Chronicle of Higher Education, the lawsuit argues that the California measure, adopted by that state's voters in 1996, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by placing a distinct set of legal hurdles in front of minority groups seeking to increase their representation on the university system's campuses. The group behind the lawsuit--the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary--is seeking through the lawsuit not just to get the California measure overturned, but to raise questions about the legality of similar measures that will be on the ballot in Arizona, and perhaps Utah, this fall.
A similar legal challenge to Proposition 209 failed in 1997, but the lawyers behind the new lawsuit say the legal landscape has changed enough since then that they feel they have a good chance of prevailing this time around.