Monday, October 25, 2010

UA law students' arguments against Prop. 107 are full of holes

Very disappointing to see this kind of a misleading letter coming from law students at my own law school. A couple of University of Arizona law students, claiming to represent 98 other law students, have written a letter to the Yuma Sun complaining about Prop. 107. They gripe about the words the Prop. 107 campaign is using - but then play with words themselves. They claim that the Prop. 107 campaign is falsely asserting that "quotas" exist at UA law school, since the Supreme Court has ruled quotas are unconstitutional.  Well you decide. Look at these "placement goals" at the University of Arizona, which require distorted percentages of women and minorities in faculty and employment positions. Prop. 107 opponents are simply using semantics to pretend that quotas no longer exist. And here is evidence that race-based admissions are occurring at the law school itself. 
CEO chairman Linda Chavez said: “Racial discrimination in university admissions is always appalling. But the degree of discrimination we have found here, at both schools but especially at Arizona State, is off the charts.” She noted that the odds ratio favoring African Americans over whites was 250 to 1 at the University of Arizona and 1115 to 1 at Arizona State. “As a result, nearly a thousand white students during the years we studied were denied admission even though they had higher undergraduate GPAs and LSATs than the average African American student who was admitted--and over a hundred Asian and Latino students were in the same boat with them.”
The law students then contradict themselves. First they complain there are no quotas at UA Law School. Then they claim that if Prop. 107 passes, it will hurt the admissions process. Well you can't have it both ways - either race and gender preferences are or aren't occurring. In reality, if Prop. 107 passes, it will change the admissions process, but in a positive way. Minority and women students who are not academically qualified will attend less competitive schools instead, resulting in higher levels of academic success and graduation rates, as has occurred in other states where versions of Prop. 107 has passed. The sky will not fall, instead these students will have better chances of success, and will be spared the embarrassment of possibly failing. 

Finally, the law students complain that Prop. 107 is funded by out of state Ward Connerly. They fail to tell you that the biggest contributor to thei anti-Prop. 107 campaign is funded by - that's right - an out of state union, SEIU. They also fail to tell you that Prop. 107 was referred to the ballot by our Arizona state legislature. Not Ward Connerly, not outside interests, but our very own legislature. To try and describe this as as pushed by "out out of state interest groups" is misleading and dishonest. 

Very disappointing to see this kind of disinformation coming from two law students who should know better. 

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