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U.S. Supreme Court Affirmative Action ruling


It is due anytime and I predict that it will adopt much of the logic in this BRIEF (Amicus). The schools will be forced to set aside race as a specific criteria. They will be allowed (I predict) to focus on economic differences. However, economic differences between ethnic groups are not as pronounced as we may presume. An uncharted area is to target communities – e.g. if a school wants geographical diversity can it target cities or particular cities for preference knowing that this will boost racial diversity.

On September 24, 1965 President Johnson issued Executive Order 11246 and President Nixon extended that Order. (President Kennedy had issued an order in 1961). So it was the Executive branch and not the courts which laid the groundwork for Affirmative Action. The Bakke decision allowed for Affirmative Action but barred quotas. (Regents of Univ. of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978))

Years of experimentation with Affirmative Action led to many highly charged political debates. Opponents raised issues that a rich minority person would get preferential treatment compared to a poor non-minority person. Proponents pointed out that wealthy alumni parents could get their children admitted even when they were academically unqualified. Race based Affirmative Action was cited as merit based especially compared to the alumni / donation issue.

The most recent cases have focused on how groups often identified as “minority” or a group ethnically identified by socially and geographically diverse are excluded based upon perceived success or integration of that group. They argue that they are bearing the burden of providing a remedy for systemic and pervasive discrimination against other ethnic groups. Their arguments are not necessarily against Affirmative Action but narrowly viewed arguments as to who is shifted out so that others can be shifted in. We will see what the Supreme Court does and whether the court splits along ideological lines.

If you want to follow the current U.S. Supreme Court docket, use this link.

UPDATE: Here is the entire Supreme Court decision on Affirmative Action.

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