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Three Activist SCOTUS Justices Root For Racial Discrimination In Oral Arguments, But Six Others Are Skeptical


BY: ASRA Q. NOMANI | NOVEMBER 02, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/11/02/three-activist-scotus-justices-root-for-racial-discrimination-in-oral-arguments-but-six-others-are-skeptical/

parents and students pose at rally outside of supreme court
‘We did not fight a civil war about oboe players,’ Chief Justice John Roberts said, shooting down Harvard’s attorney during oral arguments on Monday.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday morning, I swept through the marbled halls of the Supreme Court of the United States, off First Street NE here in the nation’s capital, to enter the highest room of jurisprudence in the land. The sound of my footsteps muffled atop thick carpeting, the blinds on the massive windows mostly drawn and the room packed with rows upon rows of chairs, slowly filling.

A daughter of India who grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia, little could I know that over the next four-and-a-half-hours I would ride an emotional rollercoaster as three so-called “liberal” justices and four attorneys overlooked, erased, and tried to gaslight the truth of Asian Americans who face discrimination — or as the ideologues call it, “systemic racism” — in admissions to Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

If not for fierce questioning from the court’s six conservative justices and the arguments of two attorneys for the plaintiffs, Students for Fair Admissions, Asian Americans would have been erased in the courtroom that day — much as they have been nationwide by “equity warriors” for whom we are an inconvenient minority. Instead, this is my prediction for the rulings, expected next year: a 6-2 victory by Asian American families and students over Harvard and a 6-3 win over the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In 332 pages of court transcripts, “diversity” was referenced 202 times, most of the time by the universities’ lawyers and the three justices that supported them, with “Asian” mentioned only 81 times. The universities’ lawyers, the sympathetic U.S. solicitor general, and the three like-minded justices spoke many times about supporting “students of color,” “minorities” and “diversity” but most often excluded Asian Americans. Ironically, the three liberal justices waxed eloquently about “diversity” without once noting the obvious: There wasn’t an Asian American justice beside them.

In the most defining moment of the day, Harvard’s attorney, Seth Waxman, tried to downplay “race” as a “determinative factor” in admissions to Harvard, noting that it was just like, “you know,” being “an oboe player in a year in which the Harvard-Ratcliffe orchestra needs an oboe player will be the tip.”

Chief Justice John Roberts shot that comparison down immediately.

Yeah. We did not fight a civil war about oboe players,” he said firmly.

“I—,” Waxman tried to interrupt.

Roberts continued, undeterred. “We did fight a Civil War to eliminate racial discrimination, and that’s why it’s a matter of — of considerable concern.”

Across the country, parents listening to the proceedings laughed and cheered. The day before, many of those parents, with names like Jack Ouyang, Wai Wah Chin, Eva Guo, Suparna Dutta, Yuyan Zhou, and Harry Jackson, stood on the steps of the Supreme Court at an “Equal Education Rights for All” rally with signs promoting simple ideas. “Stop Anti-Asian Discrimination.” “Diversity ≠ Skin Color.” Together, over the past years, we had become accidental activists in the war on merit and Asian American students.

Since late August, parents had been meeting at 9 p.m. on Thursday nights over Zoom to ready for the rally, trading messages through the week on WeChat, Telegram, and Signal. CNN and Fox News featured their voices in their coverage of the case. Chinese-language newspapers put news of the rally on their front pages. But inside the Supreme Court, to the lawyers for the universities and the three justices who supported them, it felt as if we were invisible.

‘Gas lighters’

I’d first visited the nation’s capital decades ago as an 18-year-old intern in the summer of 1983, but this was my first time in the Supreme Court hearing room. It is about the size of a soccer field. At 57, I had to be a witness for the approximately 22 million Asian Americans living in the United States, about one of every 15 people, most hailing from 19 countries and the fastest-growing racial group in the U.S., according to Pew Research Center.

In response to a K-12 education system that has largely failed black and Hispanic students, officials at Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill have allegedly rigged their admissions processes with “race-conscious” standards that discriminate against Asian American students to boost the number of black, Hispanic, and other “underrepresented minorities,” known today as “URMs.”

I brought two books into the Supreme Court with me: the big red book, “Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement,” and the yearbook for the class of 2021 from my son’s alma mater, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, in Alexandria, Virginia, a magnet school known as “TJ,” where about 70 percent of the students are Asian American.

The yearbook theme was simple, “We know exactly how you feel.” Unfortunately, activists for the tenets of critical race theory don’t even pretend to want to know how we feel, and I witnessed this tone-deaf callousness from the three activist justices: Associate Justices Ketanji Brown Jackson, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor. In my notebook, I penned their three names under “Gas Lighters.”

These three justices infused their questions, comments, and analysis with the politics and worldview of critical race theory, the ideology that teaches that society’s injustices must be corrected through the lens of race. Kagan wondered whether “people who have been kicked in the teeth by our society for centuries” can get a “thumb on the scale” instead of “white men.” She spoke about “our color blindness, whatever that means, because our society is not color blind in its effects.” Sotomayor punctuated many a question with “correct?” For example, she said schools are working to examine the “whole” student as “equals” — “correct?”

Quickly, Kagan found a kindred spirit in the country’s solicitor general, Elizabeth Prelogar, who spoke so sing-song it took a careful ear to recognize the disturbing worldview of critical race theory in her words. To the plaintiff’s argument on the “color-blind interpretation of the Constitution,” she said, “There’s nothing in history to support that.”

Under “Fierce Against Racism,” I wrote four names: Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Under “Sympathetic” to the plaintiffs, I penned two names: Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett.

Photo/Asra Nomani

Prophets of critical race theory, such as author Ibram X. Kendi, have spread a toxic, unbelievable, and illiberal idea: “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination.” Asian American students have been their sacrificial lambs in their racial experiment, with K-12 schools like TJ in the crosshairs of their war on merit.

In December 2020, after the killing of George Floyd turned educrats into activists, the 12-0 Democratic school board in Fairfax County, Virginia, eliminated the merit-based admissions tests to the school and replaced them with a “holisticprocess that would increase the number of black, Hispanic, and other “URM” students, assigning “bonus points” to racially engineer the student body. A group we started, Coalition for TJ, filed a lawsuit with attorneys from a public-interest nonprofit, Pacific Legal Foundation.

In early 2022, a federal judge ruled that the new admissions process is “blatantly unconstitutional,” but the “UnFairfax” school board, as we like to call it, is appealing the case, and it will likely end up in the U.S. Supreme Court as early as fall 2023.

‘Asian’ Does Not Appear

On Monday, to hear the three “Gas Lighters” and the university’s lawyers, you wouldn’t have even known they were weighing the effect of systemic racism against Asian Americans. In fact, at one point, Alito turned to David Hinojosa, an attorney representing current and former students at UNC-Chapel Hill supporting race in admissions and said: “I was struck by the fact that the word ‘Asian’ does not appear one time in your brief. Yet Asians have been subject to de jure segregation. They have been subjected to many forms of mistreatment and discrimination, including internment.”

Like a magician, Hinojosa said there was no mention of “Asian” in his brief because, voila, a “record” of discrimination against Asian Americans “actually doesn’t exist.” He instructed the court to take it up with Harvard.

When Alito pressed the Harvard attorney, Waxman, on why Asian American students received a lower “personal score” than other students on character traits, including “integrity, courage, kindness, and empathy,” the Harvard lawyer did a tap-dance, saying the “syllogism” of the question was “wrong,” then asserted that the personal score difference is a “slight numerical disparity” that doesn’t reveal any “evidence of discrimination in admissions outcomes against Asian Americans,” because it’s “simply a number” that “fades into the background.”

Simply a number.

“They think we’re that stupid.”

Alito pounced with the obvious question: “If it doesn’t matter, why do you do it?” Waxman dismissed the “personal score” as a “matter of triage” for overwhelmed admissions officers.

What about “affinity groups,” the controversial new tool for separating and segregating students in housing, discussion groups, and elsewhere in schools by race and other identity markers, asked Justice Amy Coney Barrett? Oh, they have “incredible benefits,” gushed Hinojosa.

boy holding sign
Photo/Asra Nomani

In the 1920s, Harvard President Lawrence Lowell discriminated in admissions against another group: Jewish students, because he believed there was a “Jew problem” with the overrepresentation of Jewish students at the school. In gaslighting back then, Harvard officials said they weren’t discriminating against Jewish students but just putting in place a “holistic” admissions process.

Now, in his closing remarks, Cameron Norris, an attorney for Students for Fair Admissions, said, “Harvard thankfully does say it is ashamed of its history of Jewish discrimination. I hope someday it says the same about how it’s treating Asians.”


Asra Nomani is a senior contributor at The Federalist. A former Wall Street Journal reporter, Nomani writes a regular newsletter, Asra InvestigatesAsra Investigates, with breaking news and analysis on the frontlines of culture and politics. She is a senior fellow in the practice of journalism at the Independent Women’s Network and a cofounder of the Coalition for TJ, a grassroots parent group, and of the Pearl Project, an investigative reporting initiative. She can be reached at asra@asranomani.com and @AsraNomani.

The Public Education Swamp Refuses to Learn Anything from A Year of Embarrassing Failures


REPORTED BY: ROBERT BUSEK | JUNE 08, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/06/08/the-public-education-swamp-refuses-to-learn-anything-from-a-year-of-embarrassing-failures/

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Instead of welcoming self-reflection and accountability, the educational establishment and its media allies are trying to gaslight parents.

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The 2021-2022 school year is coming to a close. As usual, students, parents, teachers, and administrators are looking over the past year to see what worked, what didn’t, and how to improve.

This year, the educational establishment’s report card is even worse than usual. It has failed to address the learning losses due to unnecessary Covid lockdowns and inspired parental uproar over critical race theory and LGBT advocacy in the classroom. It has suffered a surprising electoral defeat in Virginia and a not-so-surprising legislative setback in Florida, as well as an unprecedented number of school board recall elections. Most damaging of all, close to 2 million students have abandoned government schooling for greener (not to mention safer) pastures.

Faced with such massive public losses, one might think a little self-reflection would be in order. Instead, the educrats, with the help of their friends in the legacy media, have decided to address these serious problems by gaslighting the American public.

Avoiding Accountability at All Costs

The most recent example of this deception comes from the continuing saga of the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) effort last fall to smear parents who complain at school board meetings as “domestic terrorists.” The now infamous letter and even more infamous Department of Justice memo that followed it represent the depths to which the educational establishment was willing to sink to protect itself from accountability to the families it theoretically serves.

A recently completed independent review exonerated the NSBA’s board from culpability in this fiasco, fixing the blame for “both the ‘origin and substance of the letter’” on former Interim Director and CEO Chip Slaven. The review also found that while unnamed members of the Biden administration “collaborated” with Slaven, it “did not find direct or indirect evidence suggesting the administration requested the letter.”

In an effort to “clear the record,” Slaven recorded an interview last week with Fox News Digital, where he whined about being “betrayed” and “completely backstabbed” by the organization that he led. He also admitted that he disagreed with the NSBA board’s futile efforts to walk back the language of the letter, claiming that “it drenched an already inflamed and out-of-control narrative with another helping of gasoline.”

Neither Slaven nor the NSBA’s announcement bothered to address the elephant in the room: that the

organization sees engaged parents and community members who attend school board meetings as potential threats that need to be watched and possibly prosecuted by federal authorities. When pressed about this during the interview, Slaven lamely defended the substance of the letter he penned by saying, “The word ‘parents’ is not in the letter anywhere,” despite the examples cited in the letter’s footnotes.

The NSBA has offered vague platitudes about “advocat[ing] for local control” and being “committed to parent engagement” as it pursues its “nonpartisan” goals. These attempts to rewrite history come as 25 state school boards have chosen “to withdraw membership, participation, or dues from NSBA.”

Meanwhile, an FBI whistleblower has claimed that “counterterrorism tools” were indeed used against parents in accordance with the DOJ’s memo. It remains unclear whether these efforts continue presently despite the NSBA’s repudiation of the letter and its alleged author.

Legacy Media Provide Covering Fire

Of course, the left-wing corporate media have gone all in to support educrats’ efforts to deceive the public into believing they remain the valiant heroes in this ongoing drama. Lately, they’ve decided to focus their attacks on a favorite target of the left: homeschooling families.

This is hardly surprising, as the number of these families at least doubled during the lockdowns of 2020-2021. What’s more, that number has been largely maintained despite schools re-opening in the fall of 2021.

On Mother’s Day, Keith Olbermann fired an opening salvo in this new campaign against educational choice when he tweeted that a homeschooling mom was “ruin[ing] the lives of five innocent children.” Not to be outdone, MSNBC columnist Anthea Butler initiated a preemptive strike against Kirk Cameron’s upcoming documentary “The Homeschool Awakening” by disingenuously linking homeschooling not just with conservative Christianity, but also with the “segregation academies” of the post-Brown v. Board of Education South.

After grudgingly admitting the recent increase in homeschooling “may [in part] be attributed to Black parents and other diverse groups who might not otherwise dare to disagree with her leftist party line, Butler ended her hatchet job with a dire warning: 

Homeschooling may have greater appeal now because of these debates and the desire for parents to play a big part in their children’s educational life. It may also arise out of pandemic concerns, but parents unfamiliar with the existing networks of homeschooling run the danger of being drawn into Christian conservative networks and theocratic teaching. [Cameron] says that people choosing homeschooling are having an awakening, but the public needs to awaken to the reality that public schools may disappear if people with his extreme beliefs have their way. 

The left’s message to parents is loud and clear: Exercise your right to homeschool your kids and you are complicit in the cold-blooded murder of public schooling.

Institutional Suicide

In these efforts, Slaven, Olbermann, Butler, and their comrades studiously deflect from the simple truth: If American government-run schools are dying, it is not a case of murder, but of suicide.

The self-inflicted wounds keep coming despite all the warning signs of the past academic year. Last month, the school district in Kiel, Wis., accused three middle schoolers of sexual harassment for failing to refer to another student by her chosen pronouns. What parent wants to go through that as a consequence of sending his kids to public schools?

Meanwhile, in Virginia, Fairfax County Public Schools is planning to adopt a policy to suspend or even expel students who “maliciously misgender” classmates. The vote, originally scheduled for May 26, has been suspiciously delayed until June 16, perhaps so the happy chaos of the last day of school will allow the board to avoid further public scrutiny and outrage.  

As kids across the nation start their summer vacations, the battle for their minds and souls rages on. True to form, the educational establishment fights dirty, using cheap manipulation tactics to distract the public from its pursuit of ideological “business as usual.”


Robert Busek is a Catholic homeschooling father of six who has taught history and Western Civilization in both traditional and online classrooms for over twenty years. His essays have also been published in The American Conservative and The American Spectator. The views he expresses here are his own.

Virginia Democrats Claim ‘Free And Fair’ Election While Rigging It Again


Reported By Stella Morabito | OCTOBER 28, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/10/28/democrats-claim-free-and-fair-election-in-virginia-while-rigging-it-again/

A lot of roadside signs for Virginia’s Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe include a special message: “Vote in Free and Fair Elections beginning September 17.” Odd. Shouldn’t “free and fair” go without saying? Why include it on a campaign sign?

This is especially odd since the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently asked Virginia’s current governor, Democrat Ralph Northam, to waive the legally required witness signature for absentee ballots, as well as the last four digits of the voter’s Social Security number, both statutory requirements. They asked this about a month after voting began.

For me, the gratuitous addition looks like an attempt to cover up the left’s belief that fair elections are below its paygrade. McAuliffe’s operatives can’t possibly believe it, especially as they work to change and ignore rules in the middle of the game. But they sure want you to believe the electoral changes they enacted for 2021 in Virginia—including expansions of mail-in balloting, conditions for ballot harvesting, no requirement for photo ID, etc.—somehow add up to “free and fair.”

On top of that, the huge ballot drop box in front of Fairfax County is supposed to have 24/7 surveillance, but Director of the Fairfax County Office of Elections Scott Konopasek says the camera feed will never be available to the public.

As Mollie Hemingway’s investigative work in her recent bestseller “Rigged” shows, the 2020 elections added a lot of moving parts to the machinery of election rigging. In addition to inviting fraud, there are now more ways to disguise irregularities and to render election results unverifiable. Such chaos-by-design has been in the works for many years. It reached a tipping point when the oligarchical triad of Big Tech, Big Gov, and Big Media used the Wuhan virus shutdowns to vastly expand mail-in voting while relaxing controls on it during the 2020 presidential election.

Obviously, their first order of business was to prevent President Trump from winning re-election. I imagine the second order of business is to entrench these processes for other elections so that a permanent one-party state can cross all state lines.

At the moment, there seems to be just enough pretense—such as the continued existence of in-person polling places and polling officials who request some form of identification—to create an illusion of propriety. The idea is to keep actual voters clutching their ballots with the same persistent trust as Charlie Brown holding onto Lucy’s football every time she offers him a “free and fair” chance to kick it. McAuliffe, a heavily seasoned Democratic National Committee (DNC) operative, is joined at the hip to all that machinery. Yet Democrats in Virginia are acting as though they’re “nervous” that McAuliffe might lose.

Granted, if we’re operating on a level playing field, he should be nervous. For example, his callous assertion during a debate that parents shouldn’t be involved in what their children are learning in school caused a great backlash among his presumed base. It led to lifelong Democrat voters in Virginia openly campaigning for McAuliffe’s opponent, Glenn Youngkin. So, yes, it looks like McAuliffe should be in deep doo-doo. My guess, however, is that he isn’t really worried about “winning.”

Consider that he actually doubled down on excluding parents from their children’s education. He’s just fine with the idea of the FBI investigating concerned parents as domestic terrorists. He even walked away from a televised interview because he didn’t like the questions. This is the sort of behavior I’d expect from someone who believes he has it all locked up, kind of like the Biden campaign’s extreme confidence despite the candidate’s pathetic low energy and gaffe-prone appearances, of the snoozer of the DNC convention.

So if the McAuliffe campaign feels nervous, it’s likely only over the slight possibility of not generating enough fraud. So it looks like a two-track strategy. First, make sure enough leftist operatives (like that guy in Fairfax County) are taking care of the business of generating unverifiable fraud. Second, keep propping up the illusion of “free and fair.”

Maybe that’s how you get a CYA dog-and-pony show with Stacey Abrams stumping for McAuliffe by warning against voter suppression. Maybe that’s the point of Vice President Kamala Harris’s video to 300 black churches during Sunday morning services to get out the vote for McAuliffe. The in-your-face illegality of Harris’s Souls to the Pollsaction adds to the hubris.

I’ll still mark a ballot on Election Day in Virginia (if I’m not told that I already voted.) Assuming McAuliffe ends up in Richmond again, I’ll expect to see local polling places disappear in Virginia in the future. And I’ll continue to have contempt for fake elections in 2022 and beyond.

Stella Morabito is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Follow Stella on Twitter.

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