A divided Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals panel has upheld the University of Texas' program of racially based affirmative action in admissions. That court's previous decision upholding the program was vacated by the Supreme Court last year in an important ruling that required the court of appeals to reconsider the program without any deference to university's judgment about whether racial preferences are needed to achieve the educational benefits of diversity.
I’ve been thinking about the 1968 Supreme Court case of Hunter v. Erickson, the case in which the Court invented what has become known as the “political process doctrine.” Hunter invalidated a referendum that amended the Akron, Ohio city charter to overturn a fair housing Law, and required that any further such law be approved […]
Given that the constitutionality of affirmative action preferences in higher education is premised on the diversity rationale, the argument that curtailing preferences uniquely disadvantages minority students was a sure loser.
Today's Supreme Court decision upholding Michigan's ban on racial preferences in college admissions turns on the "political restructuring" doctrine, which holds that states cannot reconfigure the political process in ways that impose special burdens on minority groups. Defenders of the restructuring doctrine don't have a good explanation of how it can be applied in an increasingly diverse America where there are often minority groups on both sides of any important policy issue.
A splintered decision produces an unclear holding.
Six justices agree Michigan voters may prohibit the state's use of racial preferences in higher education.
John Fund has a nice piece over at National Review Online.
Plus a blast from the past: Who warned that, if not for race preferences aimed at increasing "diversity," "there are universities in California that could fill their entire freshman classes with nothing but Asian Americans"?
Intelligence Squared presented a provocative debate at Harvard Law School about affirmative action on campus.
My wife Alison Somin, who is a special assistant/counsel at the US Commission on Civil Rights, just published an article assessing the potential impact of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Fisher v. University of Texas on the future of affirmative action programs in higher education. Here is a brief excerpt: There are not many […]