Those Darn Activist Judges

By: Mr. Wilson on November 7, 2008
Now that Nebraskans have outlawed affirmative action programs, lots of changes will need to be made to programs throughout the state. Maybe. There's still a chance that a lawsuit questioning the validity of some petition signatures. If those signatures are declared invalid, it will be like the vote never happened. Except the vote did happen. Nebraskans want AA dead, that much is certain. If the vote is wiped out, Nebraskans won't be happy. The petition process should free be from shenanigans. The lawsuit should go forward and any law-breakers should be punished. If necessary, there should be a new vote. But if Tuesday's vote is wiped out, it will only delay the inevitable. In the process, it'll hork off a sizeable chunk of the state and we'll just have to go through this all over again. I can't imagine a second vote will come out any closer.


See what your friends and neighbors have to say about this.

November 7, 2008 at 3:35PM

Didn’t that happen with seatbelts? We voted nada, and it got passed anyway?

November 7, 2008 at 4:31PM

“Except the vote did happen. Nebraskans want AA dead, that much is certain.”

A lot of people thought the wording was confusing, so I’m not sure how many people actually wanted AA dead. I’m not sure why those people didn’t have their position down prior to voting, but hey, what the hell do I know?

November 7, 2008 at 4:37PM

On Wednesday, everyone at UNMC received the letter below from the UNMC Chancellor. I didn’t vote yea or nay on this issue since I didn’t feel that I had enough knowledge on Initiative 424.

However, I have to question whether or not the Chancellor can/should send out an e-mail like this? Especially when there was a memo prior to the election stately specifically that there can be no political sign on any part of University owned property. As far as I know the University technically owns our e-mail accounts. In all honesty, can I send an e-mail saying I’m deeply disappointed that Obama won?


November 7, 2008 at 4:42PM

I think that if those petition signatures are invaild, then yes, we should have to go through this whole process again. Yes, the end result will be the same, but if the process isn’t contested, then why require petition to get something on the ballot at all?

Matthew Platte
November 7, 2008 at 5:11PM

*SOME* Nebraskans want AA dead.  Possibly a majority of Nebraskans want AA dead but we simply do not know the answer to that question.  What we do know is that about 389,000 people voted for 424.  That’s less than one-fourth of the Nebraska population.

I don’t know you yet, so I cannot tell from just this one paragraph if your position is principled Libertarian or Joe the Plumber whistling Dixie, but if it’s shenanigans you are opposed to, please explain how more than a century of Jim Crow is not considered “shenanigans”.  Are you seriously suggesting that things among the so-called “races” are all hunky-dory now?

Mr. Wilson
November 7, 2008 at 5:32PM

I suspect a statistical analysis would suggest a strong unlikelihood of Nebraska’s overall voting age population differing substantially from the voters on Amendment 1. Assuming folks knew what they were voting on, it’s safe to say that most voting age Nebraskans don’t want affirmative action.

As for your second paragraph: Huh?

November 7, 2008 at 6:23PM

I think he is implying that a need for a law that specifies special federal or state handling of minorities and protected groups. I don’t. If the U wants to allow privately funded scholarships or something that’s fine, but not state money. I know a lot of poor white kids that can’t afford to go to school too, and had to compete to apply. Maybe they didn’t score quite high enough on tests or in sports or activities. Maybe they weren’t the right ‘diverse’ population for the school they applied to. If the first three were the case, well that sucks for them, and they can try harder. If the 4th is the case, how is that fair?

November 7, 2008 at 6:39PM

Didn’t we also have this problem with term limits? Maybe my memory is hazy, but didn’t we vote on that 2 or 3 times to get it passed, because it kept getting kicked out due to technicalities? Or am I lost in space on this one?

Maybe we should trust our legislature to craft us some language. They’ve done stunning work with the Safe Haven law (tongue firmly planted in cheek). Nice to see that Dr. Phil will spend an hour today focusing on the state and what fools we look like for not being able to pass a simple idea that is already in what, 40+ states?

The way our legislature works around here blows my mind. And my wife used to be part of it, so don’t yell at me if that includes you. I just can’t figure out how they can sometimes take a simple idea and just butcher it before it comes out the other side.

It’s amazing our drinking ago or blood-alcohol content levels for DUI are the same as the rest of the nation - we seem to always want to be different. The unicameral itself is different. Our electoral process is different. Our safe haven law is very different. I’m not saying we should be sheep or lock in step with everyone on everything, but I also don’t think we need to put a unique stamp on everything we do.

Power to the people!

November 7, 2008 at 7:47PM

One of the issues with 424 is that it was the brainchild of someone not from this state, who used us a Midwestern guinea pigs and ran a very questionably worded petition-signing campaign.  Another issue with it is that there was no replacement offered - nothing to acknowledge that there are very real differences in the opportunities available to people in this state. 

If we are going to cling to the rhetoric that we are all created equal and that we are to have equal opportunity, then we must have something waiting in the wings to ensure that those whose lives are not as well-funded as others are not left without access to resources.

In my view, this vote says nothing more than this: clever wording aimed at people’s insecurities will get votes, no matter the outcome.

Mr. T
November 7, 2008 at 8:09PM

I totally agree with Gene. The day of the vote, several people I know told me that had they not heard of the controversy, they probably would have voted for it because of the wording (when they were opposed to it).

November 7, 2008 at 9:47PM

I personally have no problem with getting rid of AA, but it is still needed to continue diversity.  I have seen and heard more blatantly racist actions/words/deeds in this last year with the now President elect Obama in a political race.  I recently had a very good friend move to Missouri, a borderline Souhtern state, and he was shocked at how African Americans were treated, by openly racist people.  Racism is much more rampant than I thought even a year ago.  This is not the subtle racism that I always thought was still here, but blatant racism.  Did anyone else notice in the wording that preferences were still allowed for gender differences if allowed by federal law?  I voted no because of all these factors.  I honestly wish we were ready, but we are not.

November 8, 2008 at 1:44AM

People BURNED Obama signs in other people’s yards last week. Does that sound like a state that no longer needs AA?

November 9, 2008 at 12:01AM

Obama WON the election, that proves that there is no racism anymore and that affirmative action is unnecessary.

And Tiger Woods’ success proves that all minorites are amazing at golf. 😉

Dave K
November 10, 2008 at 6:19AM

If we are going to cling to the rhetoric that we are all created equal and that we are to have equal opportunity, then we must have something waiting in the wings to ensure that those whose lives are not as well-funded as others are not left without access to resources.

I’m trying to come up with a way that support for affirmative action and the belief that all people are created equal can coexist without contradiction, but I’m failing.  Equal opportunity can be had by all, as long as government doesn’t get in the way.  Unfortunately, that hasn’t ever really been the case.

<i>In my view, this vote says nothing more than this: clever wording aimed at people

November 10, 2008 at 3:14PM

If Obama would have lost, people would have burned cars in the streets.

November 10, 2008 at 3:18PM

maybe so, but it would not have been because he lost, it would have been because the people are smart enough to know that when a candidate has lots of support and loses, something is wrong.

Matthew Platte
November 10, 2008 at 5:06PM

When you employ racist code words in a blog post, what is your intention, what do you expect?

I lived in Mississippi in the 1950s, and I saw the “colored” sign hanging over the porcelain tap-water fountain next to “my” refrigerated water fountain in the J.C. Penney store.  Paraphrasing Lloyd Bentsen: I know racism personally; I’ve lived all my life with racism. Affirmative Action is not racism, not even reverse racism.

Jimi Hendrix asked, “are you experienced?” and we thought he was referring to acid. Having more-or-less paid attention during the election season I now wonder if “experience” is an old code word, or maybe it’s just a co-incidence that this year “experience” was added to an ever-growing list of racial code words such as “states rights”, “activist judges” and “term limits”.  It’s hardly an accident that writing about “activist judges” would spawn approving comments about “term limits” since both arise from the same fears.

Mr. Wilson
November 10, 2008 at 6:16PM

Allow me to summarize my post:

Nebraskans voted to ban affirmative action. The vote may be scrapped. If that happens, expect a re-vote with the same outcome.

That’s all there is to it. Clear enough for you?

On the flip side, I still have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

When you employ racist code words in a blog post, what is your intention, what do you expect?

Did you seriously just call me a racist? What the hell? Perhaps you could humor me and stop speaking jumbled nonsense long enough to explain what I did to have such a nasty accusation sent my way. Are you talking about the title of the post? If so, you may want to check the settings on your Sarcasmometer because it’s giving you some dangerous false alarms.

November 10, 2008 at 8:07PM

No Andrew, something is wrong when you think rioting in the streets is justified because your candidate lost.

November 10, 2008 at 8:24PM

I’m not saying it is justified because my candidate lost (which he didn’t, by the way). I’m saying if there were riots it would not be because he lost the election, it would be because there were shenanigans going on with the process. You really like to put words in peoples mouths, which I can only assume is because you are bitter about the outcome of the election. That’s fine, join the rest of McCains supporters.

And this is all besides the point. The affirmative action ban is the point, and regardless of what would have happened with the election, this ban passes while people in our own state, our own city burned Obama signs in peoples yards. You can deny it if you’d like, but we both know why it was done, and what sorts of images it is associated with. Whether Nebraskans support AA or not, they are not ready for it to be banned.

November 10, 2008 at 10:23PM

The fact that you would lay down one of the principles on which this country was based (voting, and expecting the vote to be legitimate) because you don’t like like the idea of a lack of civil decorum screams to me that you have no idea what this country was founded on. Attitudes like yours are why the founding father’s left the 2nd Amendment as it is-we have every right to rise up against our own government via non-peaceful means. IF the vote is corrupted *ahem, 2000* that is a pretty good indication that our government doesn’t give a flying fart in space, and deserves every burned car or riot in the streets that occurs.

November 11, 2008 at 4:16AM

The way they sold signing the petition seemed wrong ... and I’m sure TONS of people had no clue what their “For” or “Against” vote really meant after reading the ballot (if uninformed prior).  The wording was a little deceptive imho.

November 11, 2008 at 2:47PM

CS, where did I say anything about corrupt? I said if Obama would have lost the election (he only won the popular vote by 6 percentage points), his supporters would have rioted in the streets. And please show me where the 2nd Amendment gives you every right to destroy private (or public, for that matter) property. It’s attitudes like, “our government ... deserves every burned car or riot in the streets that occurs,” that make the rest of society shake their heads in disgust and hope that maybe someday, you’ll grow up.

November 11, 2008 at 2:53PM

Bitter? Now who’s putting words in people’s mouths?

So you’re saying that the only way McCain wins is via shenanigans? Funny, the only shenanigans we heard about were occurring on the left (ACORN anyone?).

November 11, 2008 at 3:51PM

You are so bad at this man. Seriously. I’ll end my “debate” with you here, because I honestly feel like reading anything you write is killing my brain cells. Enjoy the next 4 buddy.

November 12, 2008 at 2:41PM

When you can’t refute the post, attack the poster. Nice job, Andrew.

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