Just a quick hit after hearing most of the arguments from yesterday:
The good guys win, 6-3. Roberts is solid on this. You have to hear the quaver of outrage in his voice as he questions the schools’ advocates to really feel it, but I think he comes down squarely for the plaintiffs.
Kavanaugh is for the good guys. He will make a huge deal out of Justice O’Connor’s “25 years” statement in Grutter. Kavanaugh is the fellow who will deliver for you but wants to look like the good guy.
Of the righty justices, Barrett’s vote seems least secure, but I think she will be OK. She seems fine with racial preferences in general but wants to limit them to the remedial context, which does not apply here.
Alito made a hilarious quip that was subtly about Elizabeth Warren, asking a UNC lawyer (I think) if someone could claim to be an American Indian if it was part of the “family lore” that she had American Indian ancestry.
Sotomayor comes across as none too bright. She keeps saying “stimulation” when she means “simulation” and thinks “de jure” (which she pronounces “de jour”) is the same as “de facto.” Which annoys Alito, which is hilarious.
The lefties talk a lot! But they will lose.
The Harvard advocates were much better, on both sides, than the UNC advocates. But Seth Waxman danced around the various items of proof that Harvard tries to put the thumb on the scale against Asians. The righties are not fooled.
Good guys win! 6-3 UNC case, 6-2 Harvard case.