- Squatter sues homeowners from prison, gets default judgment [Eric Ross, KOAA; Colorado Springs. Colo.]
- “Judge Thomas Hardiman on the history of judicial independence” [Cato Audio of last year’s Constitution Day lecture]
- There really needs to be an off ramp at Child Protective Services by which an investigation of a family that proves unfounded can just end instead of cycling through more and more investigation [Lenore Skenazy]
- Authors, journalists, photojournalists challenge AB5 in court: “California’s Anti-Freelancer Law Violates the First Amendment” [Trevor Burrus on Cato amicus brief in American Society of Journalists et al. v. Becerra, Ninth Circuit]
- California’s legislature has long been itching to gut or repeal Proposition 109 (1996), in which voters banned race and sex preferences. Now they’re going to try to bring back the old identity-spoils system [Gail Heriot, RealClearPolitics]
- “Identifying #NeverNeeded Regulation after COVID-19” [Cato Daily Podcast with Caleb Brown and Matthew D. Mitchell, Mercatus Center]
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo has shown himself quite the deregulator during New York’s coronavirus emergency. If only so many of his steps were not accompanied by that word “temporary” [Alex Tabarrok]
- Where government has failed, Silicon Valley biotech to the rescue [Andrew Leonard, Wired]
- Lawn care, small motorboats, the paint aisle: What sets Michigan apart is how far its governor has gone in imposing arbitrary restrictions that have little if any plausible link to curbing virus transmission. [Shikha Dalmia]
- Euro consumer data privacy follies: “Supermarkets in the EU wanted to deliver groceries to 1.5 million people self-isolating from coronavirus. But they couldn’t get the list of names & addresses necessary to do so because it would violate GDPR.” [Telegraph (U.K.) via Alec Stapp]
- Constitution doesn’t permit racial preferences in the distribution of pandemic relief funding, especially as it isn’t a remediation of earlier discrimination [Hans Bader on Arlington, Va. small business grant program]
- Would courts strike down quarantine measures in recognition of a right of family unity? [Josh Blackman]
Cato has now reprinted, with no paywall, my February Wall Street Journal piece on an audaciously unconstitutional bill moving through the Minnesota senate committee that would introduce explicit racial classifications into the state’s child welfare system, the idea being to institute markedly stronger protections for black families (but not others) against child removal. Earlier here.
“Should the law require state child-welfare authorities to treat black children differently from white children? Lawmakers in Minnesota may soon vote on a bill to do just that. ” I have an op-ed in the weekend Wall Street Journal’s “Cross Country” column (paywalled) on a bill that has passed a Minnesota senate committee and would introduce explicit racial classifications into the state’s child welfare system, the idea being to institute markedly stronger protections for black families against child removal. I argue that if the provisions are a good idea, they should apply to all families, an argument with implications for the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), on which the Minnesota bill was modeled. More on the proposed Minnesota African American Family Preservation Act: Sara Tiano/Chronicle of Social Change, Brainerd Dispatch, Insight News.
- Federal judge upholds Harvard’s admissions policy against charges of discrimination against Asian Americans, appeal likely [Anemona Hartocollis, New York Times; Roger Clegg/Martin Center; Neal McCluskey, Hechinger Report (“private institutions should be free to have affirmative action, but it should be prohibited at public institutions”); Ilya Shapiro, WSJ last year]
- In Florida, following an initiative from Gov. Ron DeSantis, state universities expected to adopt versions of “Chicago Statement” committing to freedom of expression [Mary Zoeller, FIRE]
- Under antitrust pressure from the U.S. Department of Justice, college association drops guidelines discouraging “poaching” students and other competition for enrollment. Could mean big changes in admissions process [Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed]
- In case you missed this angle in the astounding Bruce Hay story earlier: Hay “has already run afoul of [Harvard] investigators for reaching out to journalists (namely me), which they view as an act of retaliation” under Title IX [Kera Bolonik]
- “The Galling Push for a Student Debt Bailout” [Cato Daily Podcast with Christian Barnard and Caleb Brown] If more of the same is what you want, you’re in luck with the House majority’s new College Affordability Act [Neal McCluskey, Cato]
- The story of Oberlin College’s town-gown legal debacle in the Gibson case [Abraham Socher, Commentary] Return of the loyalty oath, cont’d: update on University of California requirement that all faculty candidates “submit an equity, diversity and inclusion statement as part of their application” [Nora McNulty, Daily Bruin; Stephen Bainbridge; earlier] Professor at the New School exonerated after quoting James Baldwin [FIRE] Students at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have a lot of sensitivity training in their futures. Coming to 4-H too? [Hans Bader]
- Harvard lawprof Ronald Sullivan Jr. driven from post as faculty dean of a residential house at the university after student protests of his representation of Harvey Weinstein [Jeannie Suk Gersen, New Yorker; Dianna Bell, WBUR; and for a different perspective Tyler Cowen] Stuart Taylor, Jr. has some questions about Harvard’s investigation, on charges of sexual misconduct, of noted economist Roland G. Fryer Jr. [Real Clear Investigations] 30 protesters rush the stage, ending Harvard President Lawrence Bacow’s speech: “The heckler’s veto has no place” [Robby Soave, Reason]
- Rules mandating gender quotas in hiring committees at French universities may have backfired, as “committees affected by the quota were significantly less likely to hire women” [Chris Woolston, Nature]
- Maryland lawmaker proposes collective bargaining for student athletes [Bruce DePuyt, Maryland Matters]
- “…and suggested that Plaintiff obtain an expensive genetic test to see if she could qualify as Native American or American Indian to garner better chances of being accepted to” the professional school [John S. Rosenberg, Minding the Campus] Families of wealth and standing have special reason to dislike standardized testing. But they’re quite good at dressing up their resentments as progressive [Daniel Friedman, Quillette]
- “Does Yale Law School’s Antidiscrimination Policy on Subsidies for Student Employment Discriminate on the Basis of Religion? [Ilya Somin, who concludes that it doesn’t]
- This year, as every year, checking the line-up of commencement speakers provides a handy way to size up the Forces of Unanimity on the American campus [Keith Whittington]
My new piece for Real Clear Policy examines and rejects the argument that the college admissions scandal retrospectively validates the use of racial preferences in college admissions.
If racial preference in college admissions is unjust, it doesn’t magically become just because people identify some other injustice that has different beneficiaries.
Many of those arguing that the admissions scandal somehow vindicates racial preferences seem unaware that Singer repeatedly falsified students’ ethnicities to get them into affirmative action categories….
If you’re an applicant who doesn’t fit in *either* the celebrities-and-cheaters pool or the racial-preference pool, things definitely aren’t somehow canceling out. You’re competing with other families like yours for an artificially small number of remaining admission seats….
Public universities should not discriminate by race, especially not on the excuse that someone managed to game the system on other grounds. Two injustices do not add up to one justice.
- Oops! “Tulane sophomore unknowingly named as plaintiff in lawsuit over college bribery scandal” [John Simerman, New Orleans Advocate] “Admissions scandal class action is ‘fascinating’ but likely doomed – experts” [Alison Frankel, Reuters] Plus advice from Ken at Popehat;
- Some problems with the idea of a sweeping presidential order to decree free speech on campus — and a promising if more modest step the White House could take instead [Donald Downs, Cato] Two more views on how universities can “fend off outside intervention and, more importantly, be true to their own mission… [by] nurturing a better free speech culture” [Keith Whittington, parts one and two; John McGinnis]
- “‘If racial preference [in college admissions] is unjust, then it doesn’t magically become just because people notice some other injustice that has different beneficiaries,’ Olson said. ‘Two things can be unjust at the same time, and two injustices do not add up to one justice.'” [John Blake, CNN, quoting me on the argument that the admissions scandal somehow proves preference advocates’ case]
- Harvard lawprof and residential dean Ronald Sullivan under fire for defending unpopular figures facing MeToo charges
[Randall Kennedy, Chronicle of Higher Education; Conor Friedersdorf (quoting HLS prof Janet Halley: “Finally, the ‘climate survey’ technique is a dangerous precedent as a matter of employment rights and as a threat to academic freedom. It’s a thinly veiled version of the heckler’s veto.”)]
- The Snuggle is real: very long list of demands by Sarah Lawrence students occupying campus building includes consistent access to detergent and fabric softener [Sarah Lawrence Phoenix; Pamela Paresky, Psychology Today] Rather more seriously, the students demand the college reconsider the tenure status of a professor who published a mildly conservative op-ed in the NYT [Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed]
- Even if occasionally subverted by dishonest actors, standardized tests remain the gold standard among transparent, objective ways to improve the accuracy of college success prediction [Jenna A. Robinson, Martin Center]
- “It’s like open carry, but for Coppertone”: lawmakers in Washington move to “allow students to use sunscreen at school without a doctor’s note.” [Lenore Skenazy, Free-Range Kids]
- Chicago Mayor Emanuel’s “life plan or no diploma” scheme meddles in grads’ lives [Amy Alkon]
- Sounds like must viewing: School, Inc. is a three-part documentary on state of US education system based on work of late Cato scholar Andrew Coulson;
- On both health care and K-12, U.S. tops the charts in cost but not in outcome quality. Yet people tend to draw very different lessons from the one case than the other [Arnold Kling]
- Attacking appointee Candice Jackson, civil rights orgs “defend [educational] practices that the courts have ruled illegal, and every current U.S. Supreme Court justice would find illegal.” [Hans Bader, CEI]
- Keen to “decolonize” curriculum, Boston Public Schools buy into dubious map theories [Kevin Mahnken, The 74 Million]