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January 16, 2003 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-01-16

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 7A

BUSH
Continued from Page 1A
Dearborn), who said the University's exist-
ing diversity has helped mold it into a
world-class institution.
"Mr. Bush cannot have it both ways. He
cannot say he is for diversity while simul-
taneously attacking the very laws that pro-
tect minority representation," Dingell said
in a written statement. "The President's
comments sent the wrong message to
America about discrimination, equality,
access and opportunity."
Bush's alternative
In his speech, Bush came out in support
of programs that promote diversity without
using "quotas," such as the Texas Ten Per-
cent Plan, which guarantees entrance to a
state college for all high school students
who finish in the top 10 percent of their
graduating class. The plan was initiated,,
when Bush was governor of Texas in 1997,0'
three years after the 5th Circuit found the
University of Texas's affirmative action
program unconstitutional.
"In these states, race-neutral admissions
policies have resulted in levels of minority
attendance for incoming students that are
the michigan dail

close to, and in some instances slightly sur-
pass, those under the old race-based
approach," Bush said.
But critics said while the plan is politi-
cally attractive and racially neutral, it does
not promote diversity as much as the con-
sideration of race. They said many of the
students going into these schools are not
qualified for them because admission is
based solely on class rank and many of
these high schools are inferior.
University of Texas law Prof. Douglas
Laycock also said the system does not
encourage diversity because an equal
number of white students from more
affluent districts also benefit from the 10
percent plan, spreading out the racial
impact.
"It distorts your whole admissions
process," he said
In 1996, Proposition 209 banned affir-
mative action in California. The University
of California Board of Regents approved a
plan in 2001, guaranteeing the top 4 per-
cent of a high school graduating class
admission into one of California's nine
public universities.
But Wayne State University law Prof.
Robert Sedler said while minority enroll-

ment has gone up at some California
schools, it has developed at what he called
"flagship schools."
"The number of African-Americans and
Hispanics at Berkeley and (the University
of California at Los Angeles) has declined,
but have increased at the other seven,"
Sedler said.
The president's political situation
Bush's decision comes only a month
after U.S. Sen. Trent Lott stepped down as
Senate Republican leader Dec. 20.
Lott made remarks many found racist at
former Sen. Strom Thurmond's 100th
birthday party.
Lott said if Thurmond - who ran for the
presidency in 1948 on a segregation plat-
form - had won, the country would have
avoided many problems.
Bush won the 2000 presidential election
with only 35 percent of the Hispanic vote.
and 9 percent of the black vote. University
of Virginia law Prof. Kim Forde-Mazrui
said it was very unlikely now he could
increase those numbers if he runs for re-
election next year.
"It seems to me that Bush is not seeking
strong support from black and Hispanic
voters, especially black voters," he said.

"He's very popular right now, he doesn't
need to reach out to (these) groups."
But fighting back critics, Bush has never
hesitated to remind them of his appoint-
ments of National Security Advisor Con-
doleezza Rice and Secretary of State Colin
Powell, both of whom are black. In addi-
tion, White House Counsel Alberto Gonza-
les is Hispanic.
But Bush critics said his minority
appointees do not always represent their
respective groups' perspectives.
"I think it depends on who the person
is," said Thomas Saenz, vice president of
litigation for the Mexican-American Legal
Defense and Educational Fund. "If it is not
a justice who has concerns for the Latino
community, regardless of race, I don't
think the Latino community would be
pleased."
Mazrui noted the example of Supreme
Court Justice Clarence Thomas, appoint-
ed in 1991 by former President George
Bush, who does not support affirmative
action.
"I wouldn't say he is not legitimately
understood as a black person, but nonethe-
less, his views are hot representative of
most blacks," Mazrui added.

Smo-free dorms
leave c leaner rooms,
SMOKING
Continued from Page 1A
those designated places should exist."
The ban would be inconvenient to smokers, Moura said.
"It's just going to make me go outside more. It's going to be
an inconvenience during the winter."
Aurora said he feels that the University has already made
up its mind on the issuf. "I think when it was addressed to
RHA, it was already decided by the University - they just
wanted support," he said. '
Aurora said he supports methods other than an out"
right ban to address health issues associated with smok=
ing. Moving smoking floors to the top of residence
halls would keep smoke from travelling into higher
windows, he said.
Levy said the only cost to the University would result
from cleaning residence hall rooms previously designated
for students who smoked. These rooms will be cleaned t6
remove stains and burns left by cigarettes and efforts will be
made to eliminate odors.

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BRIEF
Continued from Page 1A
reasons for the policies and their constitutionality.
"We don't think diversity can ever justify racial prefer-
ences," Levey said. "But even if it could, (the University's)
use of preferences is way outside the bounds of what's con-
stitutional, even as judged by Justice (Lewis) Powell's deci-
sion in the Bakke decision."
The cases and the Supreme Court's subsequent ruling are
considered by many legal experts to be the most influential
in terms of race-conscious policies since the University of
California Board of Regents v. Bakke decision. The
Supreme Court banned the use of racial quotas in university
admissions, but Powell stated in his opinion that race could
be considered as one of many factors to create a diverse
environment.
Although CIR will argue that the University does not
have a significant reason to use race-conscious admission
policies, University President Mary Sue Coleman said the
policies are vital for creating a diverse learning environ-
ment, which she said benefits the entire student body.
"In the end our goal is to choose among a pool of well-qual-
ified applicants to enroll a student body that is diverse in a rich
variety of ways," Coleman said in a written statement. "We
know from extensive research and our experience as teachers
that this creates the best learning environment for all our stu-
dents, majority and minority alike."
Georgetown Law Center Prof. Susan Bloch said legal
briefs such as the ones filed by CIR today "are generally
more significant" to the Supreme Court than the oral argu-
ments, because each side only has a half hour to deliberate
in front of the justices.
Bloch said that in the briefs, which are limited to about 30
pages, CIR's lawyers will argue that the University has not
provided a substantial reason to give minorities admission
preferences.
"They're going to say that in order to justify what the Uni-
versity considers the use of race in admissions, the University
must have a compelling purpose," she said. "They're going to
say the University doesn't have a compelling purpose."
Bloch added that the justices will spend several days
reading the briefs and then review them after hearing the

oral arguments.
SupportingCIR's legal argument, President Bush and
several national organizations announced yesterday that they
would file amicus, or "friend of the court," briefs.
While stressing the importance of diversity, officials from
the Anti-Defamation League said in a written statement that
the group is sending a brief in opposition to the University's
admission policies because even though the University has
the best interests of the student body in mind, the policies
are unconstitutional.
"We believe in the value of diversity in higher educa,
tion, as elsewhere," ADL National Chairman Glen
Tobias and National Director Abraham Foxman said in
the statement. "However, we also believe that the racial
preference route the University of Michigan chose to get
there is unacceptable and cannot withstand constitution
al scrutiny."
The National Association of Scholars, a higher educatiol..
reform group, is also filing a brief arguing against the polil
cies. Although NAS has traditionally opposed the use of
race as a factor in student admissions and believes students
should be evaluated by their academic merit, the primary,
purpose of the brief is to challenge the University's claim
that diversity significantly educates the student body, NAS
Executive Director Bradford Wilson said.
"We want to address the scholarly claims being made by
supporters of the University," he said.
Wilson said NAS conducted studies using the University's:
empirical evidence and found that the University's claims:
that most of its faculty and staff support race-conscious-"
admissions and that diversity provides the student body with
significant educational benefits are not true.
In addition to the amicus briefs supporting CIR's position,
the Congressional Black Caucus announced yesterday that it
would file an argument in support of the University,
although the deadline for briefs and legal arguments sup-
porting the policies is Feb. 18.
Agnes Aleobua, a member of the Coalition to Defend
Affirmative Action and Integration and Fight for Equality
By Any Means Necessary, said the caucus's announcement
is a strong message to critics of the University's policies.
"It is a message on the other side that our people are
standing up and fighting," Aleobua said.

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