Should the Government Be Allowed to Engage in Racial, Sexual, or Other Acts of Discrimination?
44 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2011
Date Written: July, 13 2011
The State of Arkansas has enacted a Distinguished Governor’s Scholarship Program that awards full college scholarships based solely on ACT or SAT scores. The purpose of the program is the keep “the best and brightest students” in Arkansas. As a matter of fact, fewer that one percent of the scholarships have gone to African-American and Hispanic students. Additionally, the scholarship monies are paid directly to both public and church-related institutions. The amount of aid paid to church-related colleges exceeds that awarded to public institutions.
This paper first examines the Establishment Clause (Clause) issues of whether direct payments to church-related schools violates the Clause, whether a disparity in the amount of scholarship monies paid the church schools offends the Clause, whether the program creates an incentive to attend church schools, and whether this constitutes a scheme to divert state tax money to church schools. We next examine the disparate-impact of the program on African-American students and conclude that the program violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
We conclude the paper with an examination of the program and the issue of government and private discrimination from the vantage point of the libertarian philosophy. We conclude that the Arkansas program is unwholesome and discriminatory from both the Title VI disparate-impact and libertarian perspectives. We attack the plan on the more radical basis that it would be contrary to libertarian law even if the same proportion of blacks and whites had received scholarships. This is so because the government plan makes invidious comparisons between inept and brilliant students, awarding tax money all to the latter and none to the former. Where is the warrant for the government (private schools excepted) to award scholarships based on intelligence, while ignoring the stupid or ignorant? The State not only vitiates against black people but ignorant people as well. We make the case that this is unwarranted government discrimination on the part of the State.
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