Diversity thumbs on the scales

Any day now, the Supreme Court will announce its decision on the constitutionality of the University of Michigan’s affirmative-action policies. Advocates for minorities hope the court will uphold the program. It should not. Such a decision will almost certainly damage the long-term interests of the very groups the proponents of diversity seek to protect.

Consider the implications of such a decision. To uphold the university’s admissions policies, the court would have to find that diversity constitutes a “compelling” state interest; one that is so important the government may treat citizens differently on the basis of their race or ethnicity to achieve it. But if assembling a diverse student body in state universities constitutes a compelling interest, what does not?