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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Wednesday, January 15, 2003
8:06 AM

Michigan affirmative action case.... The Bush Administration is wavering down to the wire, and even the Post's headlines don't agree. The link to today's story online says Bush Wavers on Admissions. The story itself, both print and online, is heded President Opposes Race-Based Admissions. But the story suggests Karl Rove is going to mess this one up:

Both administration officials and conservative opponents of affirmative action depicted Bush's planned position as a political compromise forged amid intense negotiation. Justice Department lawyers, led by Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson, lobbied the president hard for a brief that would categorically declare that not even diversity can justify the use of race. White House political adviser Karl Rove and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, sensitive to the need to expand the Republican base to include minorities, pushed in the other direction, the officials said.

Then again, the lede says:

President Bush plans to declare his opposition to University of Michigan admissions policies that give preference to black and Hispanic students, injecting the White House into the Supreme Court's most far-reaching affirmative action case in a generation, administration officials said yesterday.

Take your pick!

UPDATE: Yep, sounds like a waffle alert. From the Washington Times in Foes of racial quotas want only Bush's full-court press:

Several of those pushing for a tougher stand in a key case involving the University of Michigan used the words "squishy" and "wishy-washy" to describe what they fear President Bush will submit to the court tomorrow....

Like the Center for Individual Rights — which is supporting white students who were refused admission to Michigan — and others who echo Mr. [Roger] Clegg, Mr. [Ward] Connerly says he rebuffed offers from the office of White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales to have President Bush file a neutral brief backing "diversity," but stopping short of taking sides on the Michigan case.

"Part of me fails to understand even how this should be a question over which one agonizes. It's so clear to me that discrimination is wrong, morally wrong, and the president ought to be guided by the clarity of that thought," he said in an interview from his Sacramento office, discussing how he made that case in a letter to White House political adviser Karl Rove.

"It seems the Bush political shop, aided by Judge Gonzales's office, doesn't want to go that far," said Edward Blum, legal director of the Civil Rights Institute, in an interview that contradicted some White House aides and predicted a brief that skirts racial issues. "It would be a shame if they ignored so many movement conservatives and wrote something wishy-washy."

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