So the court was – rather oddly, to be sure – announcing only a temporary waiver of students’ right not to be discriminated against on the basis of skin color and what country their ancestors came from. Since a third of the time allowed for in Justice O’Connor’s projection has passed, it makes sense for the court to revisit the matter.
Studies provide ample evidence that universities are not weaning themselves away from this discrimination. To the contrary: A study last fall of the University of Wisconsin by the Center for Equal Opportunity found the most pronounced undergraduate admissions discrimination the center had ever seen. Recent studies show that law school discrimination at UW and elsewhere is severe, too. Studies of medical school admissions have reached the same conclusion.
At one time, affirmative action was designed to benefit African Americans recently subjected to Jim Crow, over whites who had been the segregated system’s beneficiaries. But now, more and more, it is Asians (our fastest growing ethnic group) who are discriminated against in favor of Latinos (our largest minority). At the University of Texas, for instance, in 2009, admitted Asians had an average SAT score 197 points higher than the average score for admitted Hispanics.