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Bush's affirmative action doublespeak. (Insider Report).

Announcing a legal challenge to a race-based University of Michigan admissions policy, President Bush insisted that the policy that gives preference to black and Hispanic applicants is "divisive, unfair and impossible to square with the Constitution." "[W]e must be vigilant in responding to prejudice wherever we find it," proclaimed the president in remarks he made from the White House on January 15th. "Yet, as we work to address the wrong of racial prejudice, we must not use means that create another wrong, and thus perpetuate our divisions."

Taken as a strong repudiation of the federally supported racism called "affirmative action," these remarks predictably earned plaudits from the Republican right and provoked brickbats from the Democratic left. Ted Kennedy denounced the administration's intervention as "shameful and divisive." Racial ambulance chaser Jesse Jackson accused the administration of having "the most closed-door civil rights policy in 50 years."

While the president's announcement and the ensuing reaction dominated the headlines, Solicitor General Theodore Olson submitted a set of briefs in the affirmative action case that "diverged substantially from the rhetoric of the president's prime-time statement," wrote New York Tunes legal affairs analyst Linda Greenhouse.

While the briefs did ask that the disputed admissions policy be declared unconstitutional, they "did so by means of a legal analysis that, far from insisting that any consideration of race was impermissible, did not even ask the justices to overturn the Bakke decision, the 1978 landmark ruling that ... ushered in a generation of affirmative action in public and private college admissions," Greenhouse observed. "It was as if the administration had filed a brief denouncing abortion without asking the court to overturn Roe v. Wade."
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Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 24, 2003
Words:276
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