The Problem with Affirmative Action

by Kevin D. Williamson

It’s often said that beyond its inherent unfairness, the main problem with affirmative action is that it channels underperforming students into more competitive institutions, which leads to results that are disappointing for the intended beneficiaries of the policy. Consider: 

Children of three Texas lawmakers who graduated from theUniversity of Texas School of Law repeatedly failed the state’s bar exam, highly unusual for the prestigious school where almost every graduate passes the bar exam on the first try.

Jeffrey Steven Carona, Carlos Manuel Zaffirini Jr. and James Ryan Pitts have taken the Texas bar exam 10 times between them, and passed it just twice. Pitts will get another chance in February.

Their parents, respectively, are stateSen. John Carona, state Sen. Judith Zaffirini and state Rep. Jim Pitts.

Representative Pitts has been very protective of his son’s privacy, which is ironic in that it is nothing other than the actions of Representative Pitts himself that made his son’s academic performance a matter of public interest. Having intervened with the law school to see to it that his son was admitted, he is now one of the main forces behind an effort to impeach University of Texas regent Wallace Hall, who has brought attention to this political favoritism. 

This ongoing shameful episode is a black mark on the University of Texas and the Texas legislature.