Archive for October, 2012

Affirmative Action Challenged In University of Texas Case

October 11, 2012 Leave a comment
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Affirmative action came under attack at the U.S. Supreme Court as Chief Justice John Roberts took the lead in questioning whether universities should continue to give special preference to racial minorities.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on University of Texas’s admissions program which uses race as an admissions consideration for as much as one quarter of each class which calls to  question affirmative action.

“What you’re saying is that what counts is race above all,” Justice Anthony Kennedy, the likely swing vote, told the lawyer defending the plan. “You want underprivileged of a certain race and privileged of a certain race.”

During arguments today in Washington, the court’s Republican-appointed majority scrutinized the University of Texas’s admissions program, which uses race as a consideration in admitting as much as one quarter of each class.

The case was filed  by Bert Rein, the lawyer challenging the Texas program on behalf of student Abigail Noel Fisher,  who applied unsuccessfully to Texas in 2008 and later enrolled at Louisiana State University who said that she was passed over by UT in favor of minoarity students with lower grades and few extracurricular activities.

Texas has support in the case from some of the nation’s most powerful institutions who want a racailly diverse workforced and rely heavily on Universities.  Fifty-nine companies filed a brief be half of Texas iincluding Microsoft Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc.,Gap Inc., General Electric Co., Pfizer Inc., Shell Oil Co. and Viacom Inc.

“The core of our interest is in ensuring that the nation’s universities produce graduates who are going to be effective citizens and effective leaders in an increasingly diverse society, and effective competitors in diverse global markets,” said U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, the administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer.

Although Kennedy directed the bulk of his questions at the lawyers defending affirmative action, he also balked at Rein’s contention that Texas’s policy is unconstitutional because it adds only a handful of minority students to the school.

“If it’s so few, then what’s the problem?” Kennedy asked,

“I thought the whole point was that sometimes race has to be a tiebreaker,”  he said as the potential swing vote on the court.



First Time Home Buyer Chances in Bakersfield, CA

October 11, 2012 Leave a comment
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Zillow’s analysis reports that it is a Seller’s market as the housing inventory shrink additionally making it hard for the first time buyers.

“First-time homebuyers are being squeezed out of the market by falling inventory and the rapid influx of investors looking to buy basic homes to rent out to the growing population of people who have recently been foreclosed upon,” said Stan Humphries, Zillow chief economist, in a release Thursday. “Investors are paying in cash and can close sooner, which is more favorable to banks and homeowners looking to sell.”

Sellers may begin to have the upper hand in the market as housing inventory shrinks, leaving first-time homebuyers left to compete with investors, a report from Zillow revealed

In Bakersfield, the  new home buyer has a better chance.  Svenja Gudell, senior economist at Zillow in California’s other metro areas, investors “leave first-time buyers in the dust,” she said.

“It could be they’re not the types of homes people are looking to rent, so investors won’t buy them,” said  Gudell.  She  said that there were a lot of foreclosures because at one point Bakersfield was overbuilt   The foreclosures have resulted in properties that are not in great shape and not as desireable.

In all areas of California  besides Bakersfield, the bottom tier commonly sought by first-time buyers had the greatest drop. The bottom tier is defined as homes costing less than $88,200.

But Scott Tobias, president of the Bakersfield Association of Realtors, said it’s still a struggle for first-time buyers to find a home and beat out investors. On average, it takes about six months for first-time buyers to find a house, he said.

“They get very frustrated,” Tobias said. “They place offer after offer. They’re competing with investors.”

Even though Tobias says that its still hard to find properties he notes that Investors are buying up anything less than $148,050, he said. It’s only once properties hit $200,000 that there’s more inventory available. 

Categories: Real Estate