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Same difference

I noted that the two Michigan policies (undergraduate and law school) were similar; the Washington Post agrees, in an editorial (while supporting the ruling):

The undergraduate program differs from the law school's less in its substance than in its transparency; it systematizes much that the law school leaves to the invisible discretion of admissions officers. The message is that the use of race will stand a better chance of being sustained if it is shrouded in vague terms than if it is quantified and easily assessed.
Exactly my point about O'Connor's dust-splitting. She felt the need to wobble, so she invented imaginary distinctions between the two programs, but there's no difference between adding 20 points to a specific score in order to get a "critical mass" and adding a "flexible, nonmechanical" bonus to a non-specific score in order to get a "critical mass." In each case, the admissions office starts with the desired outcome and then works backwards, racially, until it gets the preferred statistics.


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