Brookings Institution. June 24, 2013.

The Court’s much-awaited decision in the affirmative action case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, announced on Monday, June 24, is a classic example of avoiding the central question.

In three past landmark cases, the Supreme Court declared that racial diversity is a legitimate and constitutional objective of institutions of higher learning. Outright quotas, it said, were impermissible.  Rather, measures to promote diversity must be narrowly targeted to that objective. Such measures must be subject to ‘strict scrutiny,’ which in the case of universities means that the burden of proof rests on the university to show what it is doing is as narrowly crafted as possible to achieve ‘diversity.’ [Note: contains copyrighted material]. [HTML format]

Brookings Institution. March 7, 2013.

Affirmative action is back in the news this year with a major Supreme Court case, Fisher v. Texas. The question before the Court is whether the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause permits the University of Texas at Austin’s use of race in its undergraduate admissions process. The Court may declare the use of racial preferences in university admissions unconstitutional when it decides the case in the coming months, potentially overturning its decision in the landmark Grutter case decided a decade ago. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. [HTML format].


Center for American Progress. April 4, 2012.

Affirmative action has been so misconstrued over the years that it helps to look back and see why it was necessary. Though widely misunderstood as a quota system or grossly mischaracterized as reverse discrimination against white Americans, affirmative action was originally an acknowledgment that American society was changing. In a post-civil-rights era, as black Americans and white women increasingly challenged educated white males to enter their exclusive citadels of higher education and job sites, an accommodation to the new realities of American society had to be made. Those adjustments were affirmative action programs that sought to bring fully qualified blacks and women into places that they were historically excluded from. (Note: contains copyrighted material). [HTML format].

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Why Diversity Still Matters

On February 27, 2012, in Diversity, Education, by editor2

Center for American Progress. February 23, 2012.

On Tuesday the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case, Fisher v. The University of Texas, which may challenge the future of race-conscious admissions at our country’s colleges and universities. If the Court bars the use of race in admissions decisions, it threatens years of hard work by civil rights activists in the higher education field who fought to make college campuses more integrated, diverse, and just. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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