In 2003, Sandra Day O'Connor upheld race-based discrimination in college admissions [in those narrowly tailored ones of a Michigan law school, to be precise] ... but only for the current generation. Such policies "must be limited in time," she wrote, adding that "the Court expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today."Inventing from whole cloth, Douthat surmises: "It's doubtful, though, that Sonia Sotomayor shares this view." And why is that? Because Judge Sotomayor responded that she "hopes" instead of "expects" that corrective affirmative action policy will go by the wayside.
In fact, Judge Sotomayor referenced another case, without Kohl's urging to do so, demonstrating where it had gone by the wayside.
In addition, that is, to pointing out that AA policy is primarily the province of the country's elected legislatures, whereas the Court's role lies in determining whether those policies adequately comport with the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.
That would the Court whose open position she is applying for.
Ross Douthat stopped listening or examining the transcript long before then, evidently. 'Twas inconvenient to his "point," perhaps.
What's doubtful is Douthat's ability to understand plain English, as "hope" and "expect" are synonyms and, more importantly, O'Connor's preference for the word "expect" has no legal force whatsoever.
She might just as well have written "hope," or even "dream."
Paul Krugman is off today.
Pity. Ah well, could be worse. Could be William Kristol.
On teh web: Douthat's greatest hits — Roy Edroso