Good Morning! 

In his lengthy and stinging dissent of an affirmative action case in 2016, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito wrote: 

“What is at stake is whether university administrators may justify systematic racial discrimination simply by asserting that such discrimination is necessary to achieve ‘the educational benefits of diversity,’ without explaining—much less proving—why the discrimination is needed or how the discriminatory plan is well crafted to serve its objectives.” 

He concluded: “Even though U.T. [University of Texas] has never provided any coherent explanation for its asserted need to discriminate on the basis of race, and even though U.T.’s position relies on a series of unsupported and noxious racial assumptions, the majority concludes that U.T. has met its heavy burden. This conclusion is remarkable—and remarkably wrong.” 

Just six years later, the High Court will once again review the contentious practice:

  1. Supreme Court Will Hear Cases That Could End Affirmative Action in College Admissions 

From The Daily Citizen: 

Parents interested in their children’s future enrollment in the college of their choice will be following the latest cases that have arrived at the U.S. Supreme Court. A group of Asian-Americans has challenged Harvard University’s program of affirmative action that has penalized applicants of Asian descent in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A companion case against the University of North Carolina (UNC) alleges that similar wrongs being committed by that public institution violate the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. 

Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) is asking the high court in both cases to overrule its 2003 affirmative action decision in Grutter v. Bollinger. The court has accepted both cases and consolidated them for purposes of oral argument at a future date. 

If the court indeed overturns Grutter, it will end almost a half-century of schools being able to consider race as a factor in their admissions policies. 

Both lawsuits were filed on the same day in 2014. Harvard won at the trial level and at the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that Harvard’s practice of using race as a tiebreaker when considering applicants of similar achievement and background was within the parameters of the Supreme Court’s affirmative action decisions. UNC won at the trial level, and SFFA asked the Supreme Court to accept this case even before the 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals addressed its appeal, which the high court has now done. 

  1. The New Yorker Lies Again About Clarence Thomas and His Wife 

From The Federalist: 

Jane Mayer of The New Yorker magazine and her fellow lefties are ramping up attacks on conservative Supreme Court justices, as they fear the court is getting ready to issue a host of decisions they won’t like, most especially a ruling that may overturn Roe v. Wade. Mayer published a pathetic “hit” piece last week on Ginni Thomas, a long-time conservative activist and the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas. It’s a dud. 

Mayer’s article, titled “Ginni Thomas’ Crusades: Is Ginni Thomas a threat to the Supreme Court?” is full of falsehoods and distortions, consistent with the malicious and error-filled book she co-authored in 1994, “Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas.” Weaving together a mishmash of facts, conspiracies, and comments from dial-them-up liberal judicial ethics “experts,” Mayer argues that Ginni Thomas’ political activities and public comments on issues that come before the court require Justice Thomas to recuse himself from those cases. 

But Mayer does not really care about judicial ethics. Rather, she wants to construct a case where only Ginni Thomas has to stop her political activity or Justice Thomas has to recuse himself. She invents a new “recusal” standard that liberal judges don’t follow and misrepresents what other judges in fact do in facing the same situation as the Thomases. Call it Jane Mayer’s version of feminism in 2022: conservative women can’t speak out on issues when their husbands are judges. 

  1. California Senator Proposes Bill Allowing Minors to Get Vaccinated Without Parental Consent 

From The Daily Citizen: 

A proposed bill in California will permit minors to choose to receive vaccines without the consent of their parents. 

On Jan. 20, California state Senator Scott Wiener introduced SB 866 which would amend California law to permit minors age 12 and older to consent to any vaccine that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

This would include the COVID-19 vaccines. 

“I introduced new legislation (#SB866) to lower the vaccine age of consent from 18 to 12,” Sen. Wiener tweeted on Jan 21. “Unvaccinated teens are at risk, put others at risk & make schools less safe. They often can’t work, participate in sports, or go to friends’ homes. Let’s let teens protect their health.” 

Sen. Wiener added that the bill would allow minors to consent to any vaccine “approved or granted emergency use authorization by the FDA & recommended by the CDC.” 

  1. Male-Bodied UPenn Athlete Wins Women’s Swimming Events – Again 

From The Daily Citizen: 

Lia Thomas, the collegiate swimmer who believes he is a woman, won two more races for the University of Pennsylvania in a dual meet against Harvard on Saturday, January 22. Harvard won the women’s dual 187-113. 

Thomas, who has male DNA, was born male, went through male puberty and has a male body, won both the women’s 100- and 200-yard freestyle races. 

CNN wrote about the event, saying, “Now Thomas is being hailed as one of the best women’s collegiate swimmers in the country, with her rapid success prompting both praise and criticism in the swimming world.” 

NBC Out reported, “Ivy League swimming champion becomes target of transphobic rhetoric,” explaining that “transgender” activists were upset with some of the media coverage of Thomas. The story pointed to outlets that used male pronouns or showed pictures of Thomas when he participated on UPenn’s men’s swim team, before starting testosterone suppression and taking estrogen in 2019 and shifting to the women’s team last year. 

  1. Homeschooling Rates Doubled During 2020 

From the Daily Wire: 

Over the course of the pandemic, alternative schooling options have become more attractive to parents in the midst of COVID-19 regulations and constant school closures.  

The U.S. Census Bureau released data in March of last year, noting that the coronavirus pandemic pushed a renewed desire for many to homeschool their children. According to the bureau, “national homeschooling rates grew rapidly from 1999 to 2012 but had since remained steady at around 3.3%.” 

In the spring of 2020, around 5.4% of households in the United States with school-age kids said they were homeschooling. By the time fall hit, 11.1% of households with the same age kids said they were homeschooling.  

“That change represents an increase of 5.6 percentage points and a doubling of U.S. households that were homeschooling at the start of the 2020-2021 school year compared to the prior year,” the Census Bureau added. 

  1. ‘Stop nagging!’: Why China’s young adults are resisting marriage and babies 

From The Guardian: 

A growing number of young people across east Asian societies are delaying getting married as the region becomes more prosperous. Yet in urban China, this change has been especially swift, said Wang Feng, a sociology professor at the University of California, Irvine. Comparing Chinese census data in 1990 and 2015, Wang said that the share of never-married Chinese women in their late 20s had shot up by eight times in the span of 25 years. 

Census data from the years 2000 and 2010 show that college-educated young Chinese between the ages of 25 and 29 are most likely to be single. And women in developed Chinese cities, in particular, have fewer ambitions to get married. 

On social media and in daily life, the resistance to early marriage is strongly on display. In 2017, for example, a Shanghai-based chamber choir performance struck a chord with millions of young Chinese people facing the same dilemma across the country. The viral song Spring Festival Survival Guide – or What I Do Is For Your Own Good in English – told insisting Chinese parents: “My dear family, please just let me live my own life.” 

Vicky Liu, who is from northern Tianjin and was born in 1997, is one of those young Chinese. She said as soon as she graduated with a master’s in England last year, her parents began to arrange blind dates for her. “But I am an adult woman. I want a career and a good circle of friends. I just don’t want to be tied into a family life too soon.” 

  1. Is it true that conservatives no longer believe in marriage? 

From the American Conservative: 

Conservatives no longer believe in marriage. That is the lesson many took from a Gallup poll recently shared on Twitter, which featured a chart showing that in 2020 only 41 percent of conservatives considered it “very important” for couples with children to get married, down from 62 percent in 2006. Shane Morris, an employee of the Colson Center, expressed the despair many felt upon seeing the chart: “Republicans have given up on marriage as an ideal.” 

This news is indeed discouraging, but it is probably wrong to say that conservatives have relinquished marriage as an ideal. The same Gallup survey found that 81 percent of unmarried respondents hoped to be married one day, up from 78 percent in 2013. This suggests that people have not stopped prizing marriage. They have instead become reluctant to judge those who fall short of what is still their ideal. 

It is worth looking closely at the survey’s wording. Gallup asked, “When a couple has a child together, how important is it to you that they legally marry?” This was a change from the previous versions of the survey, which asked, “When an unmarried man and woman have a child together, how important is it to you that they legally marry?” (emphasis added). 

The survey’s wording was probably changed in the name of inclusivity. But it subtly altered the meaning. The earlier version centers on an “unmarried man and woman,” a description that indicates a lack (“unmarried”) while evoking the traditional responsibilities associated with adulthood and sexual roles (“man and woman”). The new wording replaces the negative term (“unmarried”) with a more positive one (“couple”). It at no point evokes maturity or distinct sexual roles, as the phrase “man and woman” had done. 

In both versions, the wording insinuates that the respondent might take too great an interest in other people’s affairs: “When two people (neither of whom is you) have a kid, how interested are you in how they structure their lives consequent to that fact?” In other words, the question could be read as asking less about one’s regard for the marital state and more about how entitled one feels to judge other people’s lives. On this issue, people are probably more reluctant to appear judgmental today than in 2006. 

  1. 8. New documentary series exposes reported dark truth of Hugh Hefner

From TheBlaze: 

Beyond the glitz and glamour, dark and disturbing secrets lie beyond the gates of the Playboy Mansion. At least, that’s what A&E’s soon-to-be-released documentary series “Secrets of Playboy” suggests. 

The docuseries claims to reveal “the hidden truths behind the fable and philosophy of the Playboy empire through a modern-day lens.” 

The Post said that the series “unmasks the once-heralded late mogul — who, until now, has been revered as a god-like stud … to reveal the ugly truth about the man who built his sex empire on the backs of vulnerable women.” 

  1. The Untold Stories of American Religious Life 

From the Deseret News: 

In recent decades, the biggest story in American religious life has been about decline. 

Congregations are shrinking. Churches are closing. Religious “nones” are on the rise. 

What gets lost amid all the panel discussions, think pieces and survey reports on these trends is the fact that faith groups are far from dead. As sociologist Mark Chaves puts it, “Even though decline is happening, religion remains, by world standards, very vibrant in the U.S.” 

“Decline is an important story and we should keep telling it. … But we should also be telling stories about what’s happening among people who are still in church,” he said. 

In a new report featuring findings from the National Congregations Study, Chaves takes his own advice. He and his co-authors closely examine what’s going on within American churches and highlight a number of surprising — and little-discussed — trends. 

“You can use these data to tell a story that’s something different than the usual decline story,” said Chaves, who directs the National Congregations Study and is also a professor of sociology and religious studies at Duke University. The ongoing study is a nationally representative survey of congregations that was first conducted in 1998. 

10. 5 Slogans the NFL Should Put on Helmets for AFC/NFC Championships and the Super Bowl 

From The Daily Citizen: 

Back in the fall, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy called the social justice messaging program “an opportunity to highlight messages that are important to the league, players and personnel and our communities.” 

If the NFL is truly concerned and interested with highlighting messages that are important to the broader community, I’d like to suggest the following slogans for next week’s league championship games and the upcoming Super Bowl: 

  1. “End Abortion” – Given that nearly 60% of NFL players are black and the fact that abortion disproportionately impacts the black population, how about encouraging an end to this deadly scourge? While just 12% of the population, approximately 38% of all abortions involve black women and their babies. 
  2. “Marriage Matters” – Studies confirm that being married confers numerous physical, emotional, social and spiritual benefits. But marriage isn’t just good for individuals – society reaps its advantages, too, making for more stable, happy and prosperous communities.
  3. “Dads Make a Difference” – Over a quarter of children in the United States live without a father in their home, making these kids more likely to abuse drugs, break the law and drop out of school – to name just a few of the many downsides of fatherlessness.
  4. “Think Critically” – Of all the skills mom and dads would be wise to impart to their children, the ability to discern truth is high on the list. It was Aristotle who said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
  5. “Trust God” – In poll after poll, a majority of Americans report believing in God. But it’s one thing to believe and another thing to trust. When we turn our lives over to the Lord, we’re acknowledging His power and His sufficiency. “The more you believe and trust God, the more limitless your possibilities become for your family, your career – for your life!” writes pastor Rick Warren.