A Outstanding Second at Oral Argument within the UNC Affirmative Motion Case

From the oral argument transcript:

JUSTICE KAVANAUGH: How are candidates from Middle Eastern nations categorized from Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt and the like?

MR. PARK: My understanding is that similar to different conditions the place they won’t match inside the explicit packing containers on the frequent utility, that we depend on self-reporting and we might ask—you understand, they will volunteer their explicit nation of origin.

JUSTICE KAVANAUGH: But in the event that they truthfully test one of many packing containers, which one are they speculated to test?

MR. PARK: I—I don’t—have no idea the reply to that query. What I can say is that if an individual from a Middle Eastern nation self-discloses their nation of origin, it could be thought-about in the identical manner that we contemplate any field that matches, you understand, one of many packing containers that is obtainable within the frequent utility, which is it could be an individualized holistic evaluation.

This was a very unusual colloquy, as a result of there’s a proper reply to Justice Kavanaugh’s query. The classifications are immediately imported from the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, which in flip makes use of the usual “Directive 15” classifications used all through the federal authorities. And in line with Directive 15, people of Middle Eastern origin are formally “White.” In truth, the Biden administration is at present contemplating creating a brand new MENA (Middle East and North African) classification as a result of Arab American and Iranian teams have been lobbying to take these teams out of the white classification.

But in case there was any doubt, right here is the Common App’s race query. It’s a bit opaque, however however Middle Eastern is handled as a subset of “White”:

Regardless of your reply to the prior query [regarding Hispanic status], please point out the way you determine your self. (You might choose a number of)

American Indian or Alaska Native
Black or African American
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander

Which finest describes your White background? (You might choose a number of)

Middle East

Is it attainable that Mr. Park, in making ready for the argument, by no means regarded on the Common App? Or did he not merely not wish to concede that Middle Easterners are handled as generically white as a result of that tends to undermines the declare that UNC is in search of “variety?”