Affirmative Action Special Report
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Jennifer Gratz sued the University of Michigan because she was not admitted. (Post photo)

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Key Stories

Key Post stories on affirmative action. The most recent stories are listed first. Highlights on this page include:

Affirmative Action Tears at Fla. GOP
May 15, 1999
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has mobilized Republicans in his state in an effort to keep an anti-affirmative action initiative off the ballot in 2000, wading into an issue that has divided the national party.

Affirmative Action Gets Key Test in Wash.
October 24, 1998
Opponents of a ballot measure to ban racial or gender preferences are scrambling desperately to keep Washington from becoming the second state after California to roll back its affirmative action programs.

Affirmative Action Tops NAACP List
July 14, 1998
Declaring that "race and skin color" still dominate every aspect of American life, NAACP President Kweisi Mfume said that protecting the nation's embattled affirmative action programs must remain at the top of the civil rights group's agenda.

For Asian Americans, a Barrier or a Boon?
June 21, 1998
Asian Americans are about to play a central role in the next big battle over affirmative action: a Washington State ballot initiative.

Watts Walks a Tightrope on Affirmative Action
May 12, 1998
J.C. Watts, the lone black Republican in the House, has served as a bulwark against any dramatic change in affirmative action.

Black, Hispanic Admissions Plunge at 2 Calif. Campuses
April 1, 1998
The University of California's two premier campuses are reporting that their first undergraduate classes chosen without the use of affirmative action will have an extraordinarily low number of black and Hispanic students.

D.C. Public Interest Law Firm Puts Affirmative Action on Trial
February 20, 1998
Affirmative action is now on the ropes, and the Center for Individual Rights, a conservative public interest law firm, has done much to put it there. Expert in both swaying juries and spinning the press, the group has helped to make "racial preference" sound like a pair of dirty words.

Clinton Charms Affirmative Action Foes
December 20, 1997
Affirmative action opponents said they deserved to be heard, and President Clinton gave them their chance. When it was all over – after 90 minutes of cordial and occasionally pointed conversation – some of Clinton's most caustic critics came out cooing.

On Race, a Court Transformed
December 15, 1997
Today, an institution that was once the salvation of civil rights advocates is a place to be avoided.

Republicans Mix Signals on Affirmative Action
December 14, 1997
Republicans sent a strong signal about where they stand on affirmative action when the Senate Judiciary Committee refused to approve Bill Lann Lee as the nation's civil rights enforcer. But some party members approach showdowns on affirmative action with misgivings.

Applicant's Challenge Emerges as Pivotal Case
December 5, 1997
The case of a University of Michigan student is emerging as the next pivotal battle in the growing campaign that conservative groups are waging against affirmative action on the nation's campuses.

Rights Groups Pay to Settle Bias Case
November 22, 1997
Civil rights groups have financed a surprise out-of-court settlement with a white schoolteacher who was laid off by a Piscataway, N.J., school board eager to preserve the job of a black teacher.

Lee Nomination Fails as Panel Divides on Affirmative Action
November 14, 1997
After provoking a bitter legislative debate over affirmative action, Bill Lann Lee's nomination to the nation's top civil rights job failed in the Senate Judiciary Committee, with his Democratic supporters vowing to resume the battle when Congress returns next year.

Justice Nominee's Confirmation in Jeopardy
November 5, 1997
President Clinton's nomination of Bill Lann Lee to the nation's top civil rights job was in grave danger with Senate Republican leaders accusing Lee of taking unconstitutional views on race-based preferences and suggesting that any future nominees would face a tough new standard on affirmative action.

Affirmative Action Ban Is Left Intact by Supreme Court
November 4, 1997
The Supreme Court removed the last significant legal hurdle to California's statewide ban on affirmative action, rejecting a challenge by civil rights groups that had argued the law was unconstitutional.

Justice O'Connor and Affirmative Action
October 5, 1997
It is Sandra Day O'Connor, the court's first female justice and the swing vote on race policies, who likely will decide whether racial diversity alone is a valid reason for an employer to choose a person of one color over another.

The Hidden Truth About Liberals and Affirmative Action
September 21, 1997
Polls indicate that liberals favor affirmative action, while conservatives oppose it. But a book by two political scientists suggests that people do not always say what they really think about race, and that white liberals are as angry about affirmative action as white conservatives.

Texas Campus Attracts Fewer Minorities
August 28, 1997
University of Texas officials agree that the scarcity of minority students is a direct result of new prohibitions on racial preferences that could affect the university's makeup – and its public image – for years to come.

Clinton Vows to Fight for Affirmative Action
July 18, 1997
President Clinton resumed his crusade to improve race relations in America by vowing to battle the tide against affirmative action and reverse recent actions in California and Texas.

Affirmative Action Ban Is Upheld
April 9, 1997
A federal appeals court panel upheld California's voter-approved ban on preferences based on race and gender.

Colleges Compete for Minority Students by Helping Them Achieve
December 28, 1996
Facing growing pressure to scrap or limit racial preferences in admissions, universities nationwide are working urgently to get many more disadvantaged minority students on a track to college years ahead of time and to make them more qualified to enroll based solely on academic merit.

Judge Blocks Measure on Affirmative Action
November 28, 1996
A federal judge temporarily blocked enforcement of California's ballot initiative to dismantle affirmative action, saying there is a "strong probability" that it will be proven unconstitutional and permanently struck down.

Losing Its Preference: Affirmative Action Fades as Issue
September 18, 1996
Affirmative action was high on the national agenda in 1995. But in the weeks leading up to the 1996 Presidential campaign, the issue virtually disappeared from the national spotlight.

Affirmative Action Rules Are Revised
May 23, 1996
Struggling to preserve some elements of affirmative action in the face of skeptical federal courts, the Clinton administration issued new rules on race-based government contracting.

Struggling to Maintain Diversity
March 11, 1996
Berkeley and other UC schools are struggling with a task many other universities soon could face: to remove racial preferences from admissions without destroying student diversity that took years to build.

A 'Glass Ceiling' of Misperceptions
October 10, 1995
No matter how much personal success they achieve, Hispanics and Asian Americans say they must fight stereotypes that can undermine their confidence or limit their potential.

Dole Aims at Affirmative Action
July 28, 1995
Legislation introduced by Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Dole would go beyond a recent Supreme Court ruling and end race- and gender-based federal affirmative action programs.

University of California Ends Racial Preferences
July 21, 1995
The regents of the University of California, the state system of higher education that led America into the modern age of affirmative action, voted to end race-based admissions at its campuses. It was a historic shift away from the racial set-asides that revolutionized higher education.

Clinton Avows Support for Affirmative Action
July 20, 1995
Five months after questioning the future of affirmative action, President Clinton reached into his past for the answer, reciting the nation's racial progress since his days growing up in segregated Arkansas and vowing to support continued government intervention on behalf of minorities and women.

Clinton Study Backs Affirmative Action
July 19, 1995
The Clinton administration's five-month review of government affirmative action programs concludes that the vast majority of them should continue but that significant reforms may be needed in the way federal contracts are set aside for minorities.

A Rush to the Defense of Affirmative Action
June 14, 1995
Minority business leaders from the Washington area and across the nation, stung by a U.S. Supreme Court decision that sharply narrows the scope of affirmative action programs, called on President Clinton and Congress to defend the policies.

Court Toughens Standard for Federal Affirmative Action
June 13, 1995
The Supreme Court jeopardized a broad range of federal affirmative action programs with a ruling that set a tough new standard for justifying policies designed to benefit blacks, Hispanics and other minorities.

Affirmative Action Curbed in California
June 2, 1995
California Gov. Pete Wilson, vowing to lead a growing conservative movement to end three decades of racial and gender preferences as an antidote to discrimination, signed an executive order abolishing a wide range of affirmative action programs affecting hiring and contracting in state agencies.

On Affirmative Action, New Perspectives Strain Old Alliances
April 5, 1995
The broad support that once watered the growth of affirmative action has evaporated. In its place has risen a vast political dust cloud, one that often has obscured the details of government programs designed to improve the social and economic position of women and minorities.

Americans Vent Anger at Affirmative Action
March 24, 1995
Americans don't merely talk about affirmative action. They shout. A national poll finds anger, ambivalence and deep frustration is felt by millions of people on both sides of the national debate on affirmative action.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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