People rally outside the Supreme Court as the court begins...

People rally outside the Supreme Court as the court begins to hear oral arguments in two cases that could decide the future of affirmative action in college admissions Oct. 31, in Washington. Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite

College admissions: Base them on merit

It is heartening that the Supreme Court is poised to strike race-conscious admissions to college ["Affirmative action debate," News, Nov. 1]. Affirmative Action programs violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because those applicants who benefit from them are being preferred on the basis of race. The result is reminiscent of George Orwell’s "Animal Farm," in which all were equal, but some were more equal. Both equal protection and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 mandate equality, not “equity and inclusion.” As Chief Justice John Roberts famously said: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

Of course, this is not the only preference which needs to be addressed at public colleges or private colleges receiving public funds. Just as inimical to equal protection and civil rights legislation are policies favoring the children of alumni with legacy admissions, giving a leg up to the children of large donors, and preferring student-athletes. Admissions should be based solely on merit.

Richard Epstein, West Babylon

Nassau should finish audit, address debt

Nassau County Comptroller Elaine Phillips complained about the Nassau Interim Finance Authority “NIFA misrepresents Nassau’s condition,” Letters, Oct. 30]. I would rather she address these two items instead:

1. Finally completing and publishing the results of her audit of the Nassau County Department of Assessment, which was started more than eight months ago.

2. Looking at the debt that must be repaid on Nassau County's balance sheet.

Phillips needs to know that NIFA seems to be doing its job, based on the county's financial position and history, and NIFA is not her problem. She should just do what her position calls for and not spend time on things she cannot control.

Dave Beldner, East Rockaway

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