This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Happy 40th to the Staggers Rail Act, Which Deregulated and Saved the U.S. Rail Industry

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight rail and saved it from looming oblivion.

At the time of passage, the U.S. economy muddled along amid ongoing malaise, and our rail industry teetered due to decades of overly bureaucratic sclerosis.  Many other domestic U.S. industries had disappeared, and our railroads faced the same fate.  But by passing the Staggers Rail Act, Congress restored a deregulatory approach that in the 1980s allowed other U.S. industries to thrive.  No longer would government determine what services railroads could offer, their rates or their routes, instead restoring greater authority to the railroads themselves based upon cost-efficiency.

Today, U.S. rail flourishes even amid the coronavirus pandemic…[more]

October 13, 2020 • 11:09 PM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Lack of Ideological Diversity Eviscerates Colleges' Affirmative Action Rationalization Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Tuesday, September 11 2018
To wit, if colleges truly value diversity in educating their students, why then are their faculties so demonstrably non-diverse?

"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." 

Those were the words of Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority in the 2007 Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 decision. He perfectly captures the solution to our ongoing debate over state-sanctioned racial discrimination known by its increasingly discredited euphemism "affirmative action." 

Throughout American history, we've set an admirable ideal of non-discrimination, even if our ability to achieve it has been halting and imperfect. 

America's founding document, the Declaration of Independence, set the foundational principle in that regard when it declared, "all men are created equal." 

Nine decades later, America fought what remains our bloodiest war in history to implement that ideal.  After that war, we ratified the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which reads, "No State shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." 

For a century afterward, however, state-sanctioned discrimination continued under Jim Crow laws. 

Then, one year after Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech that brilliantly stated the ideal that we must practice more effectively, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extended the Fourteenth Amendment by prohibiting racial discrimination by private entities as well as government. 

Soon thereafter, however, educational institutions across the nation began discriminating on the basis of race in an effort to remedy the effects of past discrimination.  Despite the unambiguous and explicit prohibition on treating people differently on the basis of their race in the Constitution and federal laws, colleges rationalized that exceptions could be made in the name of "diversity." 

Under that logic, achieving what college administrators divined to be a proper racial balance among their student bodies would increase the diversity of opinions to which students would be exposed throughout their formative educational experience.  Obviously, that logic assumes the very principle that the anti-discrimination provisions of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and federal laws deny - that people's characteristics can be assumed on the basis of the color of their skin. 

Unfortunately, and contrary to the textual focus that should guide judges applying the laws, the Supreme Court set down a road of condoning that form of discrimination beginning with the Bakke v. University of California decision in 1978.  That misapplication of laws and our nation's colorblind ideal has continued to this day, including the bewildering comment from former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger decision that, "the Court expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today." 

As if constitutional text possesses some sort of future trigger date, or the logic of evading its straightforward terms possesses some sort of proximate expiration date.   

Jurisprudential illogic and game-playing with the Constitution's explicit command is bad enough. Most colleges' claims to value diversity are demonstrably farcical, however, and their actions, in practice, eviscerate their case even if one accepts that diversity somehow supersedes the Constitution's commands. 

To wit, if colleges truly value diversity in educating their students, why then are their faculties so demonstrably non-diverse? 

As just the latest confirmation, a National Association of Scholars (NAS) study completed earlier this year by Professor Mitchell Langbert quantifies the blatant imbalance: 

The sample of 8,688 tenure track, Ph.D.-holding professors from fifty-one of the sixty-six top-ranked liberal arts colleges in the U.S. News 2017 report consists of 5,197, or 59.8 percent, who are registered either Republican or Democrat.  The mean Democratic-to-Republican ratio (D:R) across the sample is 10.4:1, but because of an anomaly in the definition of what constitutes a liberal arts college in the U.S. News survey, I include two military colleges, West Point and Annapolis.  If these are excluded, the D:R ratio is a whopping 12.7:1. 

How does any institutional group claiming commitment to "diversity" explain a twelve-to-one disparity in what might constitute the area in which diversity is most important, professorial diversity? 

The answer, of course, is obvious. Colleges prioritize leftist politics over actual diversity. 

With the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and as colleges' false claim to diversity becomes more exposed, perhaps racial discrimination in the false name of "diversity" will end before the 25 years that Justice O'Connor envisioned arrives. 

The sooner we move closer to Chief Justice Roberts's vision than Justice O'Connor's the better. 

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following was the first 20th century presidential candidate to call for a Presidential Debate?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"We can return to the explosive job creation, rising wages and general prosperity we had before the pandemic. We can have economic freedom and opportunity, and resist cancel culture and censorship. We can put annus horribilis, 2020, behind us and make America great again, again. We can do all this -- if we make the right choice on Nov. 3.The New York Post endorses President Donald J. Trump for re-…[more]
 
 
—The Editors, New York Post
— The Editors, New York Post
 
Liberty Poll   

Do you believe Republicans will continue to hold a majority in the U.S. Senate following the 2020 election?