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The Content of a Character

The Supreme Court is again hearing a case about discrimination in university admissions. A white applicant is suing the University of Texas, claiming that she was denied admission based on her race. She believes that if denying admission to a black student based on race is unconstitutional, then denying admission to a white student based on race should be as well. However, many universities’ and colleges’ admissions programs don’t follow this line of reasoning, and give added preference to minority applicants.

In the admissions year in question, 216 minority students were admitted through an admissions program that gave them preference over more qualified students because of their race [1]. They were admitted, not because of greater merit or potential, but because of the color of their skin. In the same year, 1,714 other minorities got in on their own merit, making up 23% of all new freshmen, therefore it is obviously possible for minority students to work hard and get in without an artificial boost.

Yet there are still people that support Affirmative Action as fair and necessary. The University of Texas President Bill Powers said that a ruling against his school “would be a setback for the university and society”[2], but he fails to explain how. Minority students have the ability to be just as smart and hard-working as any white student, and they are already getting into the school on their own merit, so why should the bar be lowered for some applicants and others excluded for what should be nothing more than an irrelevant physical characteristic?

Martin Luther King, Jr. said that he dreamed of a day when his children would “one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”[3], but the sad truth is that his dream is not yet a reality.

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Posted by on October 12, 2012 in Equality

 

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Supreme Court or Supreme Rulers?

While the nation waits for the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare, some people seem to be a little confused about the role that the Supreme Court plays in our government. Here is a brief refresher: The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and the government’s powers are divided between three branches, with each branch having the ability to keep the others in check. Our legislature makes the laws, the executive branch, from the President down to local law enforcement, carries out those laws, and the judicial branch judges if the actions taken by the other two branches are lawful.

However, it is understandable how some citizens are confused about this arrangement, as our own President doesn’t even understand how it is meant to work. President Obama, who taught constitutional law, recently said that he thought that it would be “unprecedented” for the Supreme Court to overturn a law passed by a democratically elected Congress. However, the Supreme Court has over 1,500 precedents of overturning state, local, and federal laws. Declaring a law unconstitutional is not, by any stretch of the imagination, new and unexplored territory for the Supreme Court. It’s part of their job.

On the other hand, the Supreme Court does not have the authority to create laws or policies through their rulings. The Supreme Court’s solemn duty is to deliver judgement based on the law as it currently stands. If the Supreme Court were to ignore the law, and start ruling based personal belief, popular opinion, or the will of the President, then the United States of America would be more of an oligarchy in which we would be ruled by the whim of the Court. Not only can the Supreme Court overturn Obamacare, to do their job, they must overturn it.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2012 in Government

 

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