Aaron Page

Aaron Marr Page is a freelance writer living in Washington, D.C.

Recent Articles

The Final Bakke-Lash?

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN -- The Supreme Court finally agreed this week to hear Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger , two lawsuits challenging the use of race in the admissions policies of both the University of Michigan and its law school. The cases have been pegged as candidates for certiorari since they were filed in the 1997, in response to the 5th Circuit's decision in Hopwood v. Texas , which struck down the University of Texas' law school admissions policy. At the law school here in Ann Arbor, where I am enrolled as a first-year student, the attitude is, oddly, ecstatic. Odd because the law school's admissions policy was affirmed in the most recent appellate decision -- and a denial of cert would have secured the policy for several years to come. But it would have been a tenuous security at best, as it has been for the last five years. The stark difference between Hopwood and opinions in other circuits (and between the wings of the circuits themselves) -- not just on the...

End It:

T he Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO) , an anti-affirmative action group run by former Reagan/Bush assistant attorney general Roger Clegg and labor secretary nominee-for-a-week Linda Chavez, has released yet another report on the "widespread" and "appalling" use of racial preferences in higher-education admissions. Previous reports have attacked admissions policies at numerous state universities and medical schools; this one goes after three partially publicly funded Virginia law schools: the University of Virginia, William & Mary, and George Mason. With the report came the inevitable barrage of press releases, news conferences, and op-eds in The Washington Times and National Review , all of which more or less recited the report's executive summary and most salient findings. It might seem odd that the CEO opted to sink so much effort into something so obvious. As the dean of UVA's law school responded when asked about the report by the Richmond Times-Dispatch : "Do we take race...

Pickering and Choosing?

E verything might seem to be going according to plan for Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Their charge, promised when they assumed committee control last spring, was nothing less than to "save the federal judiciary" from a right-wing takeover (and hence preserve what People for the American Way president Ralph Neas has characterized as "seven decades of constitutional, legal, and social justice progress"). Senator Patrick Leahy's committee has already shown it can stall: Almost no "A list" Bush nominees have received hearings. With the upcoming rejection of the nomination of Charles Pickering for the 5th Circuit, the committee will prove it can "kill" nominations as well. All of which follows a well-conceived plan of showing the White House some muscle. As outlined by TAP 's Alexander Wohl last spring, the Democratic judicial strategy calls for both stalling and killing, but only so as to arrive at "a more important...third approach, which is to avoid nasty committee...

Bellicosity Breakdown

Shortly after 9/11, a strange, frenzied linguistic debate seemed to leap, almost fully formed, into the public discourse. At issue was whether the terrorist attacks should be considered "criminal acts" or "acts of war." Arrayed on one side were diplomatically cautious liberals and Europeans, who thought the "crime" nomenclature would keep moderate Muslim nations on board and better prepare the public for the conflict ahead; they were joined by legal scholars who warned the domestic and international criminal justice system was better suited to this kind of twilight struggle. On the other side stood a group of conservative analysts who deemed the "war" locution a crucial strategic and historic choice. Though argument continued throughout the fall, in a sense the dice were loaded. The Bush administration was reading from the "war" script from (literally) day one; the media and the public, meanwhile, were raging for retaliation. Liberals like TAP 's Anne-Marie Slaughter were correct to...

You Don't Know Dick:

House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt didn't mention the idea of rolling back last year's slanted tax cuts in his follow-up to the president's State of the Union address Tuesday night. Not very surprising. Both of the members of his party's leadership who have dared broach the issue thus far -- Senator Edward Kennedy and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle -- have come under considerable fire for doing so, both from the usual Republican loyalists and the larger mainstream media. But if by chance you watched Bush's speech on CBS, you might have seen something downright astonishing: a floor-shot of a clapping session with the Republican side of the chamber uniformly arisen and the Democratic side of the chamber uniformly seated -- except, that is, for Dick Gephardt. The applause line: "Let's make these tax cuts permanent." Yet even this would not have been a total shock if you had attended a major economic policy address Gephardt gave last week to members of the Democratic Leadership...

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