October 3, 1989
By Representative Dana
Representative Rohrabacher, a Republican, represents the 42nd
Congressional District of California. He spoke at The Heri tage
Foundation on September 19, 1989, as part of a lecture series
featuring freshman members of Congress. ISSN 0272-1155. 01989 by
The Heritage Foundation.
Why is the Subcommittee on Constitutional and Civil Rights not
up in arms at the lack of attention given to a legitimate civil
rights complaint. Why has the civil rights community not been heard
from in this matter? Some members of Congress have been
sympathetic. The 12bor-HHS Subcommittees of both the House and the
Senate, at my request, wrote language into the 1990 appropriation
bill report that calls upon the Department of Education to quickly
finish the ongoing c ompliance reviews on the subject of
Asian-American admissions quotas. Congressional Hearings Needed.
However, we will not put an end to this situation unless the proper
committees hold hearings. I am renewing my call for congressional
hearings on this sub j ect. However, if Chairman Edwards still
refuses, I will hold my own hearings to investigate. At my request,
the Republican Research Committee will hold hearings to investigate
Asian quotas and discrimination before the year is out. Perhaps I
could ask you for help getting to the bottom of this perplexing
situation. Your aid in gathering witnesses, experts, and publicity
would be appreciated. Finally, I am concerned about what will
happen if the Department of Education compliance reviews result in
a "violat i on" letter of findings. If a violation letter of
findings is issued, it will be interesting to see whether the
Justice Department takes any action and whether civil rights groups
renew their support for H.Con.Res. 147, and whether the Congress
holds heari n gs on the topic of Asian student quotas. As a matter
of fact, based upon the less-than-swift action the Justice
Department has taken in pursuing the San Jose student's complaint,
I am concerned that any finding of violation by the Department of
Education i n the area of Asian American discrimination will not be
pursued with vigor in the courts by the Justice Department. Using
Education Department Authority. Therefore, I call for Education
Secretary Cavazos and Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
Wil l iam Smith not to refer to the Justice Department any finding
of violation found in this area. Rather they should take immediate
administrative enforcement action to cut off eligibility for all
Education Department funds from any university found in violat i on
of Title VI. This is fully within the Department's authority under
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. In the Bakke decision, the
Supreme Court struck down a racial classification admissions policy
where, in the absence of a finding of previous discrimin a tion,
race was the sole determinant for admission. Speaking for the
Court, Justice Powell said if the "purpose is to assure within its
student body some specific percentage of a particular group merely
because of its race or ethnic origin, such a preferen t ial purpose
must be rejected not as insubstantial but as facially invalid.
Preferring members of any one group for no reason other than race
or ethnic origin is discrimination for its own sake. This the
Constitution forbids." On the subject of setting up r acially
exclusive pools of applicants, Justice Powell wrote: "To the extent
that there existed a pool of at least minimally qualified minority
applicants to fill the 16 special admissions seats, white
applicants could compete for 84 seats in the entering class, rather
than the 100 open to minority applicants. Whether the limitation is
described as quotas or a goal, it is a line drawn on the basis of
race and ethnic status."
After stating that equal protection guarantees were personal
rights, he concl uded, "The guarantee of equal protection cannot
mean one thing when applied to one individual and something else
when applied to a person of another color. If both are not accorded
the same protection, then it is not equal." Quotas and other racial
discri m ination have no place in our nation's schools, or for that
matter, anywhere else. Please join me in fighting this
discrimination. It is unfair for Asian-Americans and unfair for
America. Enforcing the Law. My resolution says that universities
should follo w the law of the land and that federal civil rights
enforcement agencies should vigorously enforce the law. Why are
civil rights and other ethnic culture groups scared of that9 What
has this country come to when enthusiastic support for this basic
principl e is not forthcoming? If America is to succeed and become
competitive once again, we must allow all Americans to maximize
their potential for their benefit and America's.
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