I wanted to pass along a good point that I just got, rather obliquely, from the Washington Post of all places.
The justification Obama gave during the debate last week for affirmative action is what we lawyers call the “societal discrimination” rationale (the policy makes up for the bias minorities face) rather than the “diversity” rationale (the policy makes sure a variety of ethnicities attend each college). The problem with the former is that, as a legal matter, it is a complete nonstarter, since the Supreme Court has long rejected it, and thus no university relies on it. As a Harvard-trained civil-rights/constitutional lawyer, Obama should know this.
Of course, Obama is not alone. Few people really believe the “diversity” rationale; the “societal discrimination” rationale has much more visceral appeal.