History 4321/CS 401

Children as a Political Issue

November 21, 2005


I. The Changing Conception of Higher Education

1. Beyond Bakke (diversity movement, significance of Asian-Americans; political reaction against affirmative action; legal challenges—Hoppner, Piscataway)


            2. Michigan Background (emergence of CIR; nature of Michigan admissions systems; peculiar nature of 6th Circuit)


            3. The Arguments (color-blind vs. aiding past victims of discrimination; academic freedom vs. strict scrutiny; “critical mass” vs. no compelling state interest; importance of generals’ brief)


II. Michigan Decisions: Cause and Effect (from last time)

            1. The Decisions (Gratz and abolition of quotas; Stevens dissent; O’Connor and Grutter—diversity as compelling state interest, time constraint?; Rehnquist and distinction w/o difference; Scalia and defining diversity; Thomas and issue of elitism)


            2. The Effects (O’Connor and question of guidance; conservative response: challenge implementation; higher ed establishment—AAC&U, ACE: define diversity as quality)


III. Youth Issues and Politics

            1. Changing Political Culture (1978: establishment of NCPAC, money in congressional races, abortion and Panama Canal, effects for 1980; 1979: C-SPAN in House—critics’ arguments, extension to Senate, changing nature floor debate; 1980: founding of CNN, concept of 24-hour news cycle, 1990s extension to Fox News and internet)


            2. Effects (changing qualifications for Congress; changing methods to frame issues; importance of Gingrich and Contract with America; value of children’s questions for political reasons)


IV. Lopez, Ashcroft, Sommers

            1. Lopez (NRA and power of gun lobby; assassinations and culture—RFK, James Brady; emergence of “soccer moms”; Democrats and passage of gun-free schools act; Wickard and New Deal constitutional revolution; Constitution-in-Exile; decision and impact)


            2. Ashcroft (anti-pornography crusades; religious right and 1994 elections; Clinton and triangulation; role of Ashcroft; decision and impact)


            3. Sommers (Gilligan and 1970s feminism; Ed programs and common assumptions; Manhattan Institute, AEI, and neoconservative critique; statistical trends; responses)