December 10, 2018

Affirmative Action Supreme Court Ruling in Fisher Today Gives “Reason to Fear the Future” Says Project 21’s Joe Hicks

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles political activist and longtime Project 21 member Joe Hicks is joining other colleagues in the Project 21 black leadership network who have expressed disappointment over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Fisher v. University of Texas, a key affirmative action case, earlier today.

The high court ruled in favor of race-conscious university admissions.

With the Pacific Legal Foundation and others, Project 21 submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the case in September, and has twice before submitted friend of the court briefs in Fisher (here and here).

“Lacking the towering presence of Antonin Scalia, a majority Court opinion has said today that it is Constitutional to racially discriminate,” said Joe R. Hicks, a political analyst and Project 21 member. “Justice Kennedy, who has become an infamously erratic SCOTUS voice, joined the four reliably liberal justices to opine that ‘… race-conscious admission programs… [are] lawful.’ While voting today for racial preferences, Justice Kennedy (who wrote the majority opinion) scolded the University of Texas, saying the university has a duty to ‘minimize’ its use of race. Good luck on that. Universities around the nation, who literally worship at the altar of diversity, are joyful and will now feel emboldened to increase programs that advantage so-called ‘disadvantaged minorities’ while freely discriminating against all who are not.”

“To say that today’s decision is disappointing would be a serious understatement. Today, the Court has decided in a way that is nothing less than a blow for equality under the law. It panders to the left/liberal mantra of ‘classroom diversity,’ that even the University of Texas was too embarrassed to make in its SCOTUS arguments. With Scalia gone it makes clear the importance of a future president who will have the courage to appoint a voice on the Court who represents an adherence to strict ‘originalist’ Constitutional principles. However, this is a frightening thought. One presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, is poised to populate the Court with liberal nominees who believe the Constitution is a ‘living document,’ while the other, Donald Trump, appears woefully ignorant about the issues involved, is ideologically-erratic, and has boasted that he just might appoint his sister, a leftist Federal District judge. Meanwhile, today the Court has legalized discrimination… and there is reason to fear the future,” Hicks concluded.

Project 21 members Horace Cooper, Stacy Washington, Niger Innis and Darryn “Dutch” Martin all commented on today’s Fisher decision in another Project 21 press release, available here.

Project 21 has released seven other press releases in the Fisher case since 2011 (herehere, here, here, here, here, and here), quoting many of its leaders.

Video and audio recordings of very many Project 21 leaders discussing affirmative action on television and radio can be found on the National Center for Public Policy Research YouTube page. A Project 21 policy luncheon on the Schuette affirmative action case, featuring Jennifer Gratz, can also be viewed on the National Center YouTube page.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

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Affirmative Action Ruling by U.S. Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas Today Disappoints Black Conservatives

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

WASHINGTON, DC – Leaders of the Project 21 black leadership network are expressing disappointment over the decision handed down this morning by the U.S. Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas, a key affirmative action case.

The high court ruled that the race-conscious admissions program at the time of Abigail Fisher’s application to the University of Texas is lawful under the Equal Protection Clause.

With the Pacific Legal Foundation and others, Project 21 submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the case in September, and has twice before submitted friend of the court briefs in Fisher (here and here).

“I ?m very disappointed,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, an attorney, constitutional law commentator and former member of the faculty at the George Mason University School of Law. Once again the Supreme Court had the chance to banish the role of race in school admissions. In this case with no showing of bias or race-based hostility and with the option of a very workable race-neutral admissions alternative, the Supreme Court chose to allow schools to use the race of a college applicant as a relevant selection criteria. In the 21st century we should be able to move past the shibboleth that the race of the other students in the classroom is relevant to your ability to learn.”

“Instead of these constant arguments about affirmative action I’d like to see as many resources and as much attention paid to properly educating black students regardless of socioeconomic status as is being paid to preserving racial preferences. Academic set asides actually diminish a black student’s chance of graduating from college; by placing them in environments that they are ill-prepared to be a part of. Instead of looking at forcing students into elite universities, let’s address the root issue, low academic performance,” said Project 21’s Stacy Washington, host of the Stacy on the Right Show, broadcast on 97.1 FM News Talk KFTK out of St. Louis, Missouri.

“Black students come into kindergarten with fewer words spoken to them over the beginning of their lives. They know fewer sight words and cannot count as high as their white counterparts. This deficiency widens over time, resulting in a lower probability that they can compete in extremely competitive academic environments. This is easily rectified. End these set asides and place the focus on teaching parents how to prepare their children for school,” Washington continued.

“Reading 20 minutes a day. Limiting TV viewing to the weekends only. Placing academics at the top of the priority list. Asking your children questions, listening to their thoughts. Eating dinner together. These things provide an environment that produces children that can compete with others regardless of race.”

“Let’s spend some capital on teaching parents that,” Washington concluded.

“I cannot say that I know all the details of the case, which will be forthcoming,” said Project 21’s Niger Innis of the Congress of Racial Equality. “But in this day and age, where we are several decades away from segregation, and a country where the definition of what it means to be a minority, African-American and/or black is not as simple nor as one dimensional as it once was; we need a reimagining and redefinition of Affirmative Action. A program that should be character-based, socio-economically-based vs. race- or gender-based.”

“A poor person of any color, a socio-economically deprived individual who demonstrates a ‘character quotient’ to overcome and do extraordinary academic work has earned special consideration and benefit of affirmative action,” Innis added.
“One is not born with virtue because one’s gender happens to be female, as opposed to male; nor black, as opposed to white, nor because a surname is Hispanic as opposed to Anglo.”

“Virtue comes with acts, not birth,” Innis concluded.

“By upholding the use of race in college admissions, the United States Supreme Court has once again made it impossible for aspiring non-white students to succeed on their own academic merits without there being a ‘question mark’ attached to them,” said Project 21’s Darryn “Dutch” Martin. “Racial preferences will forever represent a dark cloud over the heads of every minority student, no matter how academically conscientious and hard-working, who wants to be taken seriously based on his or her individual accomplishments and work ethic alone.”

Project 21 has released six press releases in the Fisher case since 2011 (here, here,here, here, here, and here), quoting many of its leaders.

Video and audio recordings of very many Project 21 leaders discussing affirmative action on television and radio can be found on the National Center for Public Policy Research YouTube page. A Project 21 policy luncheon on the Schuette affirmative action case, featuring Jennifer Gratz, can also be viewed on the National Center YouTube page.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

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Today’s Contentious Supreme Court Debate on Affirmative Action Draws Comments from Black Conservative Leaders

Ending Affirmative Action is Important, Because It Does Four Negative Things, Says Derryck Green

There is Still a Very Real Concern About Academic Mismatches, Says Bishop Council Nedd II
 

WASHINGTON, DC – Leaders of the Project 21 black leadership network are commenting on today’s oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court over Fisher v. University of Texas, a key affirmative action case.

With the Pacific Legal Foundation and others, Project 21 submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the case in September, and has twice before submitted friend of the court briefs in Fisher (here and here).

It’s Sad the U.S. Government Might Still Be Operating on the Premise of Legal Segregation

“On the eve of 2016, it is sad that during the waning moments of America’s first black president, that we are still having legitimate debates about the virtues and values of race-based preferences,” said Project 21’s Council Nedd , an Anglican bishop and elected Pennsylvania State Constable. “It’s a sad commentary on the devolution of racial harmony in this country, and the policies of Barack Obama, that the U.S. government might still be operating on a premise of legal segregation. Having seen the capricious way in which SCOTUS has interpreted the Constitution, ignored the Constitution and redefined its role, I have very little confidence in its ability to make a just decision.”

The Focus Should Be on Merit 

“The Supreme Court now has the opportunity – and obligation – to prove the country has moved beyond the need for race-based favoritism in our colleges and universities. Ending racial preferences for academic institutions would be a clear message rooted in the true nature of equality that puts the focus back upon merit, where it should be,” said Project 21’s Derryck Green, a doctoral divinity student who is well known for his 2014 lecture for Prager University, “ Who Are the Racists: Liberals or Conservatives?,” which addresses affirmative action and which has been viewed over half a million times on several sites.

Affirmative Action Does Four Negative Things

“Ending affirmative action is important because this policy does four things,” added Green. “It reinforces the taboo that blacks are still not first-class citizens capable of merit-based competition because of our over-reliance on white interventionism in lieu of achievement; it justifies race-based theft from higher-achieving Asian and white students under the guise of social and racial justice; it reinforces inferiority and legitimizes mediocrity because blacks are exempted form meeting and/or exceeding rigid academic standards expected from our racial counterparts; and it increases the college drop out rate by placing black and Hispanic students at colleges and universities that exceed their academic preparation, merit and scholastic aptitude. The stigma of affirmative action follows black students by undermining academic accomplishments, particularly of those who didn’t benefit from the policy, which sustains self-doubt and feelings of inferiority among blacks regarding their capabilities.

“Supporters of affirmative action should ask themselves what good is a diversified student body in front-end admissions, when the black dropout rate undermines it at back-end graduation rates?

“If defenders of affirmative action truly want a racially-diversified student body where minority students from underperforming schools are represented,” Green added, “affirmative action isn’t the best policy. Increasing the quality and performance of education in the nation’s primary and secondary schools through education reform – in addition to giving parents of minority children the ability to choose the school their children attend – is the best place to start.”

There is a Very Real Concern About Academic Mismatches

“As sad as it is for me to admit,” added Bishop Nedd, “there is still a very real concern about academic mismatches. I taught at a charter school for underserved youth. The school administration billed itself as a college preparatory school. They sought 100% college admission. All of the first senior class, except one, got admitted to college. A decade later only one of the students actually graduated. The remainder will happily tell you a story about universities that they were ill-prepared to enter and the student loan debt that still haunts their credit reports.

“However, this issue of academic mismatch isn’t limited to race-based preferences in university admission. We see the consequences of this with a lot of the for-profit and online universities, which seemingly exist to target the VA benefits of America’s veterans without any regard for their academic success,” Nedd concluded.

Project 21 has released six press releases in the Fisher case since 2011 (here, here,here, here, here, and here), quoting many of its leaders.

Video and audio recordings of very many Project 21 leaders discussing affirmative action on television and radio can be found on the National Center for Public Policy Research YouTube page. A Project 21 policy luncheon on the Schuette affirmative action case, featuring Jennifer Gratz, can also be viewed on the National Center YouTube page.

Project 21 members have logged tens of thousands of interview and media citations, including over 4,000 instances in 2015 alone. Media that recently sought out Project 21 insight includes Fox News, TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, the Orlando Sentinel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations such as WHO-Des Moines, KOA-Denver, WGN-Chicago, WBZ-Boston and KDKA-Pittsburgh. Topics included civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, voter ID, race preferences, education, illegal immigration and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 members provided substantial commentary regarding the Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Freddie Gray incidents, among others. Project 21 has also defended voter ID laws at the United Nations.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

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Affirmative Action Returns to the U.S. Supreme Court

Black Conservatives Join Supreme Court Legal Brief Demanding End to Race-Based University Admissions

Schools Accused of Trampling Constitution for Politically-Correct Diversity Goals

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Same Racial Preferences Case Twice in Almost Two Years

 

 Project 21, a leader in the promotion of black conservative public policy opinion and activism, has joined a new legal brief to the U.S. Supreme Court opposing racial preferences in school admissions.

Project 21 joined an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) legal brief written by the Pacific Legal Foundation and also joined by the Center for Equal Opportunity, American Civil Rights Institute and National Association of Scholars in the case of Abigail Noel Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, et al.

This is the second time the Fisher case will come before the U.S. Supreme Court. In the case, Abigail Fisher, who is white, claimed that race preferences prevented her acceptance at the University of Texas at Austin in favor of a lesser-qualified minority applicant.

In 2013 the Court ruled 7-1 that race-conscious admissions policies must be narrowly tailored in order to be constitutional, and sent the case back to the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to be reheard. The Supreme Court justices told the 5th Circuit to retry the case under standards of “strict scrutiny.” The lower court sided with the University of Texas at Austin again. In July 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court accepted the case for a rehearing to determine if the 5th Circuit properly followed the Supreme Court’s instructions.

A date for oral arguments at the Supreme Court has not been announced. A decision is expected by June 2016.

“The Supreme Court’s earlier rulings make it clear that quotas and other kinds of broad-based racial preferences are impermissible,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, a legal commentator who taught constitutional law at George Mason University and was a leadership staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives. “One would think that, in 2015, no school would think it necessary to rely on a racial test to balance out its student body. In this case alone, however, the Court has given every opportunity for the lower court and the University of Texas itself to reassess its race-based admissions policy. Yet it appears only direct intervention by the Court will now be sufficient. The days for race-based social engineering are numbered.”

Project 21’s Cooper is a University of Texas at Austin graduate.

Fisher and her supporters, including Project 21, asked the Court to determine if the lower court followed the orders of the justices to thoroughly and thoughtfully re-examine if the University of Texas at Austin’s race-conscious admissions policy is narrowly tailored and consistent with the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that race preferences for the sake of campus diversity were permissible, the University of Texas at Austin immediately instituted the race-conscious admissions policy challenged in the Fisher case. It was instituted despite other schools’ use of additional considerations to achieve their own diversity goals, factoring in things such as parental income, parental educational histories, general family history and even a Texas policy that guaranteed state-run university enrollment for students in the top percentages of their high school graduating classes. The Project 21 brief notes:Washington, DC –

There is no evidence that the University considered many of these race-neutral options, nor has it documented why these options would fail to produce a critical mass of underrepresented students and the educational benefits a diverse student body provides.

The brief also argues that “the University has failed to prove that its race-conscious program is narrowly tailored” to benefit alleged diversity goals because the assertion is not proven, the university has not seemed to weigh the costs and benefits of a race-conscious admissions policy nor has it proved it pursued all available alternatives to a race-conscious policy.

Furthermore, the brief explained this problem is not limited to the University of Texas at Austin:

There is no evidence that universities have weighed the undeniable costs of racial preferences against the benefits that purportedly result from classifying individuals on the basis of race. And there is no evidence that universities have given serious thought to whether these benefits can be achieved through race-neutral means. This demonstrates that universities nationwide continue to flout the Court’s limits on the use of race in admissions decisions.

Because the situation is not unique, Project 21 and the other organizations on the PLF-written brief noted the Court must definitively address the issue of the constitutionality of race-conscious admissions policies:

This Court’s most recent decision in Fisher – emphasizing the need to exhaust race-neutral measures before turning to race-based classifications – has not changed the behavior at our nation’s public universities…

[P]ublic institutions are not considering the costs attendant to racial preferences, and whether those costs outweigh the purported benefits.

“Over a century ago, Justice John Marshall Harlan said ‘Our Constitution is colorblind and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.’ The justices who underwhelmed almost everyone by sending the Fisher case back to the 5th Circuit in 2013 now have another chance to reaffirm Constitutional principle,” said Project 21’s Joe R. Hicks , the former executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Greater Los Angeles chapter. “Justice Clarence Thomas got it right on Fisher when he wrote ‘I would… hold that a state’s use of race in higher education admissions is categorically prohibited by the Equal Protection Clause.’ And, as my friend Richard Sander — a UCLA law professor and expert on social and economic equality — has patiently explained, race preferences hurt the supposed beneficiaries. These students, he wrote in The Atlantic, ‘fall behind from the start and become increasingly lost as the professor and her classmates race ahead… the experience may well induce panic and self-doubt, making learning even harder.'”

The brief additionally cites “academic mismatch” as a perilous byproduct of poorly-crafted race-conscious admissions policies, noting that “racial preferences… cause acute harm to those who receive them.” By placing minority students in schools above their academic aptitude so that the institution can achieve its diversity goals, the brief noted “[t]he result is a significant gap in academic credentials between minority and nonminority students at all levels.” This may lead to changed majors, dashed hopes and – worst of all – disparate dropout rates among minority students.

Project 21’s Hicks added: “The broader debate surrounding ‘affirmative action’ has changed since the Court last ruled on this case. This time, they are thankfully afforded a second chance to end the divisive practice of race preferences.”

In sum, the Project 21 brief points out to the justices that:

When an educational institution discriminates on the basis of race, narrow tailoring requires that it prove independently how racial preferences are the least harmful means to secure the educational benefits of diversity… The Court can ensure that students are treated equally under the law by holding that the University’s decision fails to satisfy the narrow tailoring requirements of the Equal Protection Clause.

Additional information about this case and the amicus brief just filed can be found in a blog post by the author of the brief, attorney Joshua Thompson, at the Pacific Legal Foundation website here.

Project 21 members have been interviewed or cited by the media on current events and politics in tens of thousands of instances since its founding in 1992. Most recently, this has included Fox News Channel programs such as “Special Report with Bret Baier,” the “O’Reilly Factor,” “Fox and Friends” and “The Kelly File” as well as CNN’s “The Situation Room,” HLN’s “Dr. Drew,” Blaze TV, America One News Network, TVOne, RT and Newsmax TV. On radio and in print, Project 21 members have appeared on or been cited by the Salem Radio Network, Sean Hannity, Jim Bohannon, Bill Martinez, Radio America, American Urban Radio Network, Bill Cunningham, Roger Hedgecock, Mike Siegal, Dana Loesch, Thom Hartmann, the Progressive Radio Network, EurWeb, Orlando Sentinel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations that include WGN-Chicago, WBZ-Boston, WJR-Detroit, KDKA-Pittsburgh and WLW-Cincinnati.

Project 21 has participated in many cases before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding race preferences and voting rights and defended voter ID laws at the United Nations. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.

Members of the Project 21 black leadership network are available for media comment on this case as well as the overall issue of race preferences in what some call a “post-racial” contemporary America.

A leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, Project 21 is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982.

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Critical Affirmative Action Case Today

Project 21 Black Conservatives’ Network Hopes Eventual Decision Will Invalidate Constitutionality of Racial Quotas Once and for All

Case Centers on Whether Referendum Passed in Michigan to Prohibit Preferential Treatment in Public Employment, Education and Contracting Based on “Race, Sex, Color, Ethnicity or National Origin” Violates U.S. Constitution

Washington, DC – The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case today that may lead to a definitive decision invalidating race quota policies once and for all.

Legal experts with the Project 21 black leadership network, which has filed an amici brief in the case, urge the court to do so.

“More and more Americans recognize that — more often than not — it is government which is the modern impediment to a color-blind society,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, a former constitutional law professor. “So-called racial preferences divide Americans and do little to actually advance the goal of equal opportunity. Now, the citizens of Michigan have joined in that assessment. We urge the Supreme Court to affirm that decision and move our nation one step closer to a unified nation made of citizens, not races, heading into the 20th century.”

In the case of Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on October 15, justices will determine if a lower court was justified in voiding an amendment to the Michigan state constitution, overwhelmingly approved by voters in a referendum, prohibiting preferential treatment in public employment, education and contracting based on “race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.”

The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, which became Section 26 of the state’s constitution after its enactment, received the support of 58 percent of Michigan voters in 2006. The federal 6th Circuit Court of Appeals struck it down in 2012, at which time it was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

“I find it curious that proponents who argue for settled law are the very same people who are opposed to something like the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative. Its premise has already been enacted in other states and was overwhelmingly approved by Michigan voters in a landslide,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Cherylyn Harley LeBon, a former senior counsel with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. “Today’s youth may have a different perspective on race than perhaps their grandparents. Moreover, American colleges and universities tend to be environments of tolerance as opposed to hotbeds of institutional racism. I hope that the Supreme Court recognizes the need to move from alarmist speculation and allows for the creation of an equal playing field.”

Arguments in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action come less than 100 days after the Court sent the University of Texas at Austin’s race-conscious admissions policy back to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals for re-evaluation to determine whether or not the school exhausted all remedies for enrollment diversity before resorting to race quotas.

Project 21 joined an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief written by the Pacific Legal Foundation and filed with the Court in the Schuette case in support of Michigan voters who overwhelmingly sought the removal of preferential race policies in the Great Lakes State.

Project 21’s brief argues the legal doctrine of political structure (known as the “Hunter/Seattle doctrine” in legal circles) used to outlaw discrimination in government policies such as housing and busing cannot similarly be used to invalidate Section 26 of Michigan’s constitution. The brief explains, “Section 26 enhances protections against discrimination and covers all Michigan government action — not just a single political issue.”

In analyzing the historic use of this doctrine, the brief notes: “Both Hunter and Seattle necessitated the finding of an impermissible racial classification in the challenged law before the political structure doctrine was invoked… The clear effect of Section 26 is to prohibit the State and its political subdivisions from adopting race- and sex-based preference programs.”

“Voter initiatives prohibiting preferences based on race in public education have passed and become law in several states,” said Project 21’s Cooper. “The appeals court was wrong to assume that the so-called ‘political structure’ doctrine prevents these measures. Even the 9th Circuit recognizes the constitutionality of race neutral admissions policies.”

Project 21’s brief, written by the Pacific Legal Foundation and joined by the Center for Equal Opportunity, American Civil Rights Institute, National Association of Scholars and the Cato Institute, also contains factual data about how policies instituted after race-based preferences were banned by California voter in 1996 have increased diversity and minority retention rates.

During the last term of the U.S. Supreme Court, Project 21 was involved in the race preferences case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin and the voting rights case of Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder. It will also be involved with the re-hearing of the Fisher case. Project 21 legal experts and other members have discussed these cases in media interviews this year on MSNBC, Fox News Channel, HBO, Glenn Beck’s Blaze TV, the nationally-syndicated Jim Bohannon radio show, Florida Public Radio, the Christian Science Monitor and Reuters.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated .

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