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Hawaii joins states backing racial preferences in college admissions

By Michael Virtanen

Associated Press


ALBANY, N.Y. >>  New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, on behalf of 14 states including Hawaii, is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold racial preferences in college admissions.

The court is scheduled to hear arguments Oct. 10 in a lawsuit by Abigail Fisher, a white student who was not admitted to the University of Texas in 2008. Fisher is challenging the university's admissions policy as a violation of her civil and constitutional rights.

The court's ruling will be its first on affirmative action in higher education since 2003.

"The states all share a strong interest in preserving the flexibility of their varied institutions to pursue a range of strategies to achieve the educational benefits of diversity in higher education," Schneiderman and state Solicitor General Barbara Underwood said in a brief filed late Monday. They noted that public schools like the State University of New York, ranging from community colleges to research universities, enroll about 72 percent of post-secondary students nationally and play an especially important role for students with modest means.

Besides Hawaii and New York, other states joining the brief were Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"To successfully fulfill their longstanding role in providing public higher education, states must have the freedom and flexibility to create strong institutions tailored to the needs of each particular State and its citizens," Schneiderman wrote. "In striving to meet these objectives, the states have learned, through decades of experience, that the existence of a diverse educational community enriches the learning environment for all students and better prepares them to excel in a heterogeneous world."

Texas admits most of its students because they rank among the top 10 percent in their high school classes. Fisher's grades did not put her in that category. For other students, Texas officials say that race is considered among many factors, including academic record, personal essays, leadership potential, extracurricular activities, and honors and awards. The school says race is not used to set quotas, which the high court has previously rejected.

The Texas policy has been upheld by a federal appeals court, which said it was allowed under the high court's decision in Grutter vs. Bollinger in 2003 that upheld racial considerations in university admissions at the University of Michigan Law School. Fisher appealed to the current Supreme Court, which is considered to be more conservative than the one that ruled in 2003.

The Justice Department, in a court brief co-signed by several other government agencies, told the high court Monday that a diverse college population was in the university's — and the government's — best interests. "The armed services and numerous federal agencies have concluded that well-qualified and diverse graduates are crucial to the fulfillment of their missions," Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli said.

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yojimbo wrote:
racial preference=racial profiling
on August 14,2012 | 06:41AM
peanutgallery wrote:
Hawaii is one of the most racially divisive states in the country. With KSBE being a straight-up racist institution, whichever state is in second place, is a long way back there. Ten years ago anglo europeans were the least populated group on the mainland, yet affirmative action demands that they continue to carry several other minorities on their backs. Even Elizibeth Warren, feeling the need to cheat, represented herself as an american indian simply to gain access. No different than Obama, Hanneman, etc. It's time for the first white guy to step forward and sue, demanding equal protection and equal treatment via affirmative action. It's almost funny how things come full-circle, and would be funny, if we weren't talking about the human race.
on August 14,2012 | 10:50AM
luvshawaii wrote:
Oh brother, sour grapes!
on August 14,2012 | 06:59PM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
Peanutgallery, you might be interested to know that the State of California uses affirmative action to admit Caucasians who have lower national entrance exam scores (SAT or ACT scores) than Asians ahead of the Asians for the exact same reason why Texas admits blacks and Chicanos ahead of Caucasians. If the University of California schools used only merit to admit their students, the campuses would be 90% Asian. Should the University of California cut out its racist policy of Caucasian affirmative action Peanutgallery?
on August 15,2012 | 12:00AM
Pocho wrote:
on August 14,2012 | 06:42AM
allie wrote:
Racism in any form is wrong but racism is alive and well out here. Want to give preference? Do it on the basis of income, not race.
on August 14,2012 | 06:48AM
kailuabred wrote:
Right. The more money you make, the better your chance of getting in. I'm all for it!
on August 14,2012 | 09:32AM
8082062424 wrote:
Did you check the box that said native american ? and your going to school on government dollar so your comment is quite interesting
on August 14,2012 | 10:02AM
luvshawaii wrote:
Racism is alive and well world wide!!
on August 14,2012 | 06:59PM
soundofreason wrote:
Imagine my surprise.
on August 14,2012 | 06:58AM
Keith_Rollman wrote:
Does this mean U.H. will give racial preference to Caucasians because they are a minority in Hawaii?
on August 14,2012 | 07:00AM
Graham wrote:
Hold your breath.
on August 14,2012 | 08:17AM
TigerEye wrote:
Everybody's a minority in Hawaii.
on August 14,2012 | 10:03AM
Keith_Rollman wrote:
That's my point, Tiger. So, what is gained by U.H. latching onto affirmative action when it has no relevance in Hawaii?
on August 14,2012 | 12:03PM
ftaele83 wrote:
white caucasians--minority in Hawaii??? GET REAL!!!! White folks are by far the second largest group here in Hawaii (Asians representing the largest). WHites are far far away from being considered a minority group here in Hawaii.
on August 14,2012 | 10:38AM
Manapua_Man wrote:
Racial preference to admit "under represented" ethnic people at the expense of "over represented" people is reverse discrimination and wrong. I hear UH does that all the time. They think they are doing "right" to some... by doing "wrong" to others. If one looks at the big picture... it doesn't make things right. How should one feel if he/she had good high school transcripts... but UH Manoa rejects the applicant because he/she was born to an ethnic race "over represented"? Meanwhile some other person from an "underrepresented" ethnicity gets in with lessor qualifications? That's not right at all. If these people in the "underrepresented" ethnic groups were treated the same way... they'd scream "PREJUDICE!" and file a lawsuit.
on August 14,2012 | 07:05AM
kailua000 wrote:
in other words, UH will tell Asian Americans no and admit caucasians and hispanics and blacks over them. that would go over like a ton of bricks
on August 14,2012 | 07:28AM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
Yea! Then Hawaii will belome racially balanced in the amount of college students attending & graduating. It's great that we have a local boy President who will fight to make this happen too.
on August 14,2012 | 08:23AM
Keith_Rollman wrote:
Not being part of the dominant ethnic group is the definition of being a minorty.
on August 14,2012 | 12:06PM
allie wrote:
well sais. UH is a tax supported university and to discriminate against anyone is just wrong. There is too much of that shibai out here as it is.
on August 14,2012 | 09:18AM
luvshawaii wrote:
But you're mandan you said, somehow making you "special". Remember?
on August 14,2012 | 07:02PM
ISCREAM wrote:
It would seem to me that the values of honesty, integrity and equality would be paramount to success...oh no I forgot we are talking about our institutions of higher indoctrination (into left wing SOCIALISM).
on August 14,2012 | 07:12AM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
We also need to balance the amount of Asians in our prisons too many Polynesians and not enough Asians while tey're at it.
on August 14,2012 | 08:25AM
sjean wrote:
Especially socialist schools like Bob Jones University...
on August 14,2012 | 08:52AM
Descartes22 wrote:
The Supreme Court has been itching to reverse decades of jurisprudence on affirmative action. They will do so in this case.
on August 14,2012 | 07:12AM
stanislous wrote:
I am not Caucasian... I am Russian-American. I speak Pigeon with European accent. Any breaks I get... I have to work hard for. Nobody give me nothing... Sorry, Mr. Obama, no body help me start my business.
on August 14,2012 | 07:17AM
kailua000 wrote:
wrong. no preference. no box to ask what your race is. go strictly by academics. in this day and age why would any minorities say they have a disadvantage. we have a black president, all races in the government, teaching at universities, leading major organizations, almost all professional athletes (ok maybe not hockey players but the rest). where is the disadvantage. there are poor of all races, not just the inner city or along the border, but all over our country, yes including haole people. Hawaii should take the lead and say no, this is ridiculous. You cant tell me that whites get priority admissions at UH, look at the make up of the school, so why do they have to be involved. So you want whites and blacks to be admitted before asians to UH? vote this way Should be equal! Do the work get into college. be a lazy okole, go jc and work hard to get in.
on August 14,2012 | 07:26AM
GorillaSmith wrote:
Excellent! An end to this ridiculous and disgusting practice is at hand. This is great news to all Americans of good will. Regrettably, Hawaii is once again on the wrong side of history.
on August 14,2012 | 07:33AM
CriticalReader wrote:
Affirmative action will be of especially critical importance if Romney/Ryan are elected.
on August 14,2012 | 07:41AM
Fred01 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on August 14,2012 | 09:58AM
mrluke wrote:
Don't wait for a reasonable explanation to CR's comment.
on August 14,2012 | 10:53AM
kuroiwaj wrote:
Wow, I believed Hawaii would lead in opposing any kind of racial preference in all conditions. This one is "really" bad.
on August 14,2012 | 07:52AM
libertylover wrote:
Affermative action had its purpose years ago but with all the anti discrimination laws on the books I believe it is time to move on to treating all citizens the same regardless of their race. Certainly here in racially diverse Hawaii it makes zero sense to use race as a criteria in determining college admissions. I agree with the comment if we want to help young people get a State college or university education that we should do it on the basis of income.
on August 14,2012 | 08:18AM
Bdpapa wrote:
This is a very sensitive issue. I kinda think of this as a job application and an insider wants to help an applicant. All things being equal, an insiderʻs recommendation may make the hire possible. In a college application, all things being equal, I donʻt have a problem to admission for ethnic balance. But, all things need to be equal.
on August 14,2012 | 08:31AM
niimi wrote:
Too many Asian students at UH. needs to be more along the lines of the national average.
on August 14,2012 | 08:39AM
8082062424 wrote:
Since Asians are the largest group in Hawaii population It easy to say that why we have more Asians at UH. Add the fact there parents push education from a early age it all make sense for Hawaii
on August 14,2012 | 10:56AM
Keith_Rollman wrote:
If you institutionalize racial preferences, you are perpetuating racism. I vote we stop doing that.
on August 14,2012 | 12:09PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Everyone should be guaranteed an equal opportunity to compete for college admission without rules and laws that favor anyone based on anything. Diversity divides and should be ended now. E pluribus unum.
on August 14,2012 | 08:45AM
Brixac3 wrote:
I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Martin Luther King, Jr. I want to be the white man's brother, not his brother-in-LAW. Martin Luther King, Jr.
on August 14,2012 | 09:18AM
false wrote:
the time for special treatment based on race in this country has come and gone. There was a time when it was necessary, when equal opportunity was clearly being denied, but no longer. You want to get ahead, you find your way. Your daddy is rich, that's your way. You're genetics are such that you're smarter than the rest, that's your way. You want to go in debt a couple hundred thousand to pay for an education, that's your way. As for the 90 percent who can't come up with a way, you can work for those who can, tapping away at a keyboard entering numbers all day, selling service plans and vinyl siding, collecting debt over the phone. Success of the luckiest and fittest. That's the American way.
on August 14,2012 | 09:30AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
In other news, the NBA launched an outreach program for Caucasians who can jump.
on August 14,2012 | 09:38AM
johncdechon wrote:
Can HI get anymore liberal? Or is that a trick question? ;-)
on August 14,2012 | 09:42AM
Fred01 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on August 14,2012 | 09:52AM
luvshawaii wrote:
Poor Fred. Hawaii has been called all kinds of names. It's still going on, thanks to Fred.
on August 14,2012 | 07:09PM
HealthyandHappy wrote:
I am glad I am a Pacific Islander
on August 14,2012 | 01:15PM
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