Author Topic: Again? There's Another Glaring Error in Justice Jackson's Affirmative Action Dissent  (Read 534 times)

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Offline Kamaji

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Again? There's Another Glaring Error in Justice Jackson's Affirmative Action Dissent

Matt Vespa
July 31, 2023

We’re returning to the affirmative action case that sent liberal America into a tailspin. The July ruling by the Supreme Court struck down the practice in higher education applications as unconstitutional, leading to a couple of days of rage from progressive commentators. It quickly died because not even black Americans supported the protocol; many Black Americans were not keen on the practice.

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Yet, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s dissent in the companion case— Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina—raised some eyebrows when she cited shoddy data to justify the affirmative action process. In short, namely that black babies will die if this policy for college applications is scuttled:

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Association of American Medical Colleges, who filed an amicus brief in this matter, asked that a correction be issued because, mathematically, what Jackson said is impossible. Law professor Jonathan Turley added today that there’s another issue with the dissent: she cites how black doctors can better diagnose black patients regarding pain management. The research shows it, says the jurist. The problem is that the data is scarce in supporting that position. Turley cited what Time’s Janelle Ross wrote about how race-blind workplaces could lead to the deaths of more non-whites. Ross highlighted the second academic boo-boo committed by Justice Jackson in the process:

Ross then cited the second claim as dispositive proof that race blindness will kill blacks. In her dissent to Students for Fair Admissions, Jackson wrote, “research shows that Black physicians are more likely to accurately assess Black patients’ pain tolerance and treat them accordingly.” This included “prescribing them appropriate amounts of pain medication.”

However, critics object that none of the four studies cited by AAMC support that claim. They reportedly explore problems of Black patients in dealing with pain management, but do not examine the relative efficacy of doctors of different races. They further note that AAMC has pushed DEI policies, including the use of race in faculty appointments and admissions to medical schools. These claims are used to justify the use of race as a criterion.

A review of the studies seems to confirm the objections. For example, the first study cited was Kelly M. Hoffman et al., Racial Bias in Pain Assessment and Treatment Recommendations, and False Beliefs about Biological Differences Between Blacks and Whites, 113 Proc. Nat’l Acad. Scis. 4296, 4298-30 (2016). However, that study focused on how “false beliefs” can impact the community, though it did find that half of a sample of white medical students and residents endorsed some of these false beliefs.

The second study is Monika K. Goyal et al., Racial Disparities in Pain Management of Children with Appendicitis in Emergency Departments, 169 JAMA Pediatr. 996, 998-999 (2015). However, that study deals with racial disparities in use of analgesia in emergency departments and does not focus on the race of the doctors.

The third study is Karn O. Anderson et al., Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Pain: Causes and Consequences of Unequal Care, 10 J. Pain 1187, 1198 (2009). This study, however, is a review of recent literature on racial and ethnic disparities in pain on reducing and eliminating disparities in pain. Again, the focus is on the treatment levels, not the race of the treating physicians.

The final study is C.S. Cleeland et al., Pain and Treatment of Pain in Minority Patients With Cancer, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Minority Outpatient Pain Study, 127 Annals Intern. Med. 813, 815 (1997).  Again, the study focuses on the continued failure to offer adequate pain control and suggested new approaches to the control of cancer-related pain in this patient population.

As shown by these studies, there are obviously serious concerns over the health care for the Black community with higher rates of mortality in some areas and concerns over access to medical treatment. However, these statistical claims suggest that the race of doctors in driving some of these differences. The selective use of such studies can often play to confirmation bias in crafting opinions.

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Online rangerrebew

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Justice Jackson Accused Of Second Glaring False Claim In Affirmative Action Dissent
MONDAY, JUL 31, 2023 - 03:25 PM
Authored by Jonathan Turley,

We previously discussed how Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson included a false claim to support her dissent in the Court’s recent opinion barring racial discrimination in college admissions. Now, the justice is accused of a second false claim derived from the same source: the amicus brief of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
Notably, however, the media is still citing the first error as proof that race-blind admissions will kill Black citizens.

In her prior error, Jackson claimed that affirmative action has been shown to “save lives” by allowing black doctors to give better care for black people than white doctors.

“It saves lives. For marginalized communities in North Carolina, it is critically important that UNC and other area institutions produce highly educated professionals of color. Research shows that Black physicians are more likely to accurately assess Black patients’ pain tolerance and treat them accordingly (including, for example, prescribing them appropriate amounts of pain medication). For high-risk Black newborns, having a Black physician more than doubles the likelihood that the baby will live, and not die.”

Experts immediately objected that the claim was wildly off base. AAMC later asked the Court to correct the claim, though many objected that it still did not fully address the scope of the false claim. Ted Frank who previously noted that the study itself was flawed in relying on a linear regression given the small group analysis. He responded to the correction on Twitter by noting:

“The particular specification the authors and AAMC highlight fails to account for the fact that black doctors are much less likely to be neonatologists, who get the higher risk cases. The number is much smaller when there’s a partial attempt to control for this. And, as the op-ed noted, the logit model hidden in the back of the appendix found that black doctors had a higher mortality rate overall. The study is not grounds for racial discrimination, and the paper doesn’t dare to claim that skin color saves lives.”

I will leave these details to those with a better statistical handle on these studies.
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Thomas Jefferson