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John Willingham


  • Originally published 06/24/2013

    SCOTUS Ruling on Affirmative Action Could Give Private Universities Advantage

    Credit: Wiki Commons.The Supreme Court, in a 7-1 decision with Justice Ginsburg dissenting, has issued a ruling in the Fisher v. University of Texascase that will likely require public universities to explore virtually all race-neutral alternatives in their attempts to achieve diversity before being able to use race as a factor in admissions.The ruling was probably the result of a compromise that, while not overturning previous decisions and not ruling that UT’s use of race is unconstitutional, will nevertheless lead to greater difficulty for colleges that want to use race as a factor in admissions.The decision vacates the ruling in favor of UT Austin by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and remands the case to the circuit court with instructions to apply "strict scrutiny" to the university’s rationale for using race as an admissions factor.

  • Originally published 04/19/2013

    Waco: The City Where the Waco Siege Didn't Actually Happen

    Today, April 19, 2013, is the twentieth anniversary of the bloody end to the "Waco" Siege at the Branch Davidian's Mount Carmel compound -- a forlorn place that is, in fact, 13.8 miles east of the city of Waco.I do not know who was the first person to assign the name of "Waco" to the terrible events that took place 20 years ago. What I do know is that he or she did a great disservice to Waco, often pronounced "Wacko," as I have heard repeatedly whenever I tell someone that I was born and raised in the city.Let me be quick to own that Waco has had its share of problems, one of them a so-called act of God, a 1953 tornado that killed more than 100 people and blew away much of downtown. As a young boy, I watched from the picture window of my father's real estate office about one and a half miles from the eye of the storm. The day turned completely dark, almost black, and downtown was never the same.Then the feds closed a big Air Force base and a tactical fighter wing, and the people and the real estate market went, if not altogether south, then off to Austin, Houston, or Dallas.

  • Originally published 03/04/2013

    Senator Cruz, You're No James Madison

    Ted Cruz speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC. Credit: Gage Skidmore.More than twenty years ago, by way of linking his work to the ideas of James Madison, Ted Cruz titled his senior thesis at Princeton “Clipping the Wings of Angels,” derived from a famous quote in Madison’s Federalist No. 51: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.  In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

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