Maybe I learned something in con law.

This summer, Dean Michael Schill sent an email reminding students of UCLA’s commitment to a non-discrimination policy, despite the Supreme Court’s decision in Rumsfeld v. FAIR that the Solomon Amendment can legitimately require schools to allow military recruiters on campus as a condition of receiving federal funding. Schill noted that:

UCLA School of Law is committed to a policy against discrimination in employment based on color, race, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability and veteran status.

Got that? Meanwhile The Docket, our schoolwide events blog, is promoting something called the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, which:

... provide[] opportunities for continuing generations of able and accomplished New Americans to achieve leadership in their chosen fields. The Program is established in recognition of the contributions New Americans have made to American life and in gratitude for the opportunities the United States has afforded the donors and their family.

When I saw the name ‘Soros’ I thought of that liberal billionaire who gives away a lot of money, but that’s George Soros. This is his older brother, and brother’s wife.

So what is a ‘New American’? Glad you asked:

A New American is an individual who (1) is a resident alien; i.e., holds a Green Card, or, (2) has been naturalized as a U.S. citizen, or (3) is the child of two parents who are both naturalized citizens.

In other words, a current or former foreigner, or a child of foreigners. Hey, I love foreigners as much as you do. But this fellowship excludes a category of applicants based on “national origin”. Which, if the government did it, would be invidious discrimination.

The Soros Foundation is not a state actor. It can give its money to whomever it wants, for whatever reason. And the UCLA non-discrimination policy notionally applies to discrimination “in employment”, not fellowships, though it’s hard to imagine the school would oppose discrimination in that context but endorse it elsewhere.

But if the Soros Foundation were offering fellowships that excluded women, or blacks, or gays from the applicant pool they would catch holy hell, and would surely not appear in The Docket. How is this any better?

21 Aug 06


At UCLA Anderson, they have a similar policy regarding sexual harrassment and discrimination, but not limited to employment. Yet strangely, student-run clubs can engage in both with no consequences, even when students complain. Wonderful.

Posted by: a at August 22, 2006 04:17 PM

Maybe that’s why the scholarship process is so secretive at UCLA Law. Financial aid will not divulge what scholarships are available or the criteria, instead you have to apply with a “departmental application” and then you are apparently told later which scholarships you are qualified for.

Posted by: tr at August 22, 2006 10:12 PM

I have it on good authority that scholarship money at UCLA is distributed more liberally to minority students, which would be a violation of Prop 209.

Note to new readers: I am opposed to Prop 209. I think the school should be able to give money to whomever it wants, for whatever reason. But, for now that is the law. And the secrecy helps conceal the violation.

Posted by: MB at August 23, 2006 08:22 AM

matthewb @ ucla
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