Thursday, June 23, 2016

AAPIs react to Supreme Court's ruling upholding affirmative action's goals

By Louis Chan
Reprinted from AsAm News

By a 4-3 majority, this morning (June 23) the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the use of race in admissions at the University of Texas as constitutional.

The case was filed by Abigail Fisher, a white student, who alleged the university passed her over for admissions in favor of less qualified minority students.

"The Court’s affirmation of the University’s admissions policy does not necessarily mean the University may rely on that same policy without refinement,” Justice Kennedy wrote. “It is the university’s ongoing obligation to engage in constant deliberation and continued reflection regarding its admissions policies.”
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Only seven justices participated in the decision because Justice Elena Kagan recused herself due to her participation in the case when she worked as Solicitor General.

The seat of the late Antonin Scalia remains vacant because the Republican Senate majority refuses to put up the nomination of Justice Merrick Garland for a vote.

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“We are pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledges the continued need for affirmative action policies that make it possible for students of all backgrounds, including many historically disadvantaged Asian American and Pacific Islanders, to access higher education and create a stronger country through their contributions to a diverse society,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of Advancing Justice | AAJC to AsAmNews.

Affirmative action has divided the Asian/American community with second and third generation Asian/Americans generally in support of it, and first-generation immigrants, primarily Chinese/Americans, opposed.

Among those outspoken against affirmative action is 80-20, a political action committee, lead by former Delaware Lieutenant Governor S.B. Woo.
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“Asian Americans on average must give 140 SAT points to white applicants,” said Woo this morning to AsAmNews. “It’s such a resounding contradiction that Fisher v University of Tex didn’t emphasize enough. If I had the money, it takes millions, I would challenge the university on exactly that point and work it on that point. Forget the Hispanics, forget the Blacks, just make a straight forward comparison between Asian Americans and White.

Woo pointed out the Supreme Court made it a point to say their decision does not mean the “University may rely on the same policy without refinement.”

“I’m not saying it's a victory at all,” Woo clarified. “It’s a victory for the current admission program. However, know what the court said. It requires refinement.”