Liberal hypocrisy in college admissions?

Liberals object to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowing tycoons to buy political influence, so why allow tycoons to buy influence in college admissions?

Sign up for Frank Bruni’s newsletter
Go beyond the headlines and behind the curtain with Frank Bruni’s candid reflections on politics, culture, higher education and more every week.

More broadly, what happened to equal opportunity and meritocracy? They may be ideals rather than reality, but why defend a formal structure of hereditary privilege and monetary advantage in accessing top universities?
“Legacy preferences give a leg up to applicants who have typically led privileged lives,” said Susan Dynarski, a (Harvard-trained) professor of economics, education and public policy at the University of Michigan. “It’s the polar opposite of affirmative action, which boosts applicants who have faced adversity. It’s unconscionable for a handful of elite colleges to amass enormous tax-advantaged endowments and use them to perpetuate privilege in this way.”