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Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Followup on ‘The Harvard Plan’



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If you haven’t already read Ron Unz’s NRO piece on “Racial Quotas, Harvard, and the Legacy of Bakke,” you really should. His thesis is that, starting with Lewis Powell’s opinion in Bakke, the justices seem to have taken at face value Harvard’s assurances that it gives only limited weight to race in student admissions and eschews anything so ham-handed as a racial quota — but based on Mr. Unz’s ingenious and painstaking research, it turns out that Harvard and other Ivies have apparently been employing a strict anti-Asian quota now for a couple of decades. And so maybe the Court ought to rethink all this. 

Addendum: Larry Purdy has written that the Harvard Plan has in its own origins the apparent desire for an anti-Jewish quota. His book, Getting Under the Skin of “Diversity,” discusses this and cites two supporting law-review articles by two academics who don’t agree on much else, Alan Dershowitz and (then professor) Antonin Scalia.



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