affirmative action

Is Affirmative Action Near Its Expiration Date?

Writing in the Washington Post, Megan McArdle points to the threat to racial preferences posed by the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, noting that although his nomination has led to much handwringing over the fate of Roe v. Wade, the future of “another landmark case,” Regents of the University of California v. […]

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Asian students

Harvard, Not Trump, Could Kill Affirmative Action

Editor’s note: Even though the Trump administration has reversed Obama era affirmative action policies as they apply to schools, and even though Trump will likely appoint another conservative Supreme Court Justice before the end of the year, academia will continue to write its own rules and institute its own policies on racial preferences. More important […]

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Taking a Stand on Gender Equity—for Men

Quick Read! A doctoral student at the University of Southern California with no Connection to Yale has filed a Title IX complaint against Yale’s affirmative action programs for women. The student, Kursat Christoff Pekgoz alleges that since women do better than men in gaining admission and academic performance at Yale, there is no basis for […]

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The Last-Ditch Battle to Protect Racial Preferences in California

California voters made racial preferences illegal by passing Proposition 209 in 1996, but many university officials have ignored the law, especially at the state’s top law schools. Among such officials, it is a deeply ingrained belief that social justice demands measures to close statistical gaps between “underrepresented” groups (particularly blacks and Hispanics) and “overrepresented” groups […]

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Amy Wax - National Review

Why Was Professor Amy Wax Punished?

Nearly 10 years ago, Penn law professor Amy Wax wrote an excellent book, Race, Wrongs, and Remedies: Group Justice in the 21st Century. Last summer she co-authored a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed arguing that all cultures are not equal. It provoked a virtual implosion at Penn and beyond. Now she’s done it again, becoming a larger […]

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Why a Penn Professor Was Vilified for Telling the Truth About Race

Professor Amy Wax at the University of Pennsylvania Law School is once again the target of students and faculty members who have ginned up a racial grievance against her. The issue is that she said something that is apparently true that her critics would rather remain unsaid. The immediate consequence is that Penn Law Dean […]

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Racial Preferences–Time to End Them?

A New book by Peter H. Schuck, One Nation Undecided: Clear Thinking about Five Hard Issues That Divide Us, focuses on five issues: poverty, immigration, campaign finances, affirmative action, and religious objections to gay marriage and the transgender movement. This excerpt deals with affirmative action. Institutions argue that a “critical mass” of favored minorities assembled […]

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Liberal Academia in Donald Trump’s World

Within our privileged, cosseted circles we have gotten used to not only thinking that we are right, but that we are obviously so. By putting down “straight white men” with gleeful impunity, we gave poor white voters everything to apologize for, and nothing to believe in…. Nowhere has this benevolent but ultimately self-defeating myopia been more pronounced […]

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AP-Supreme-Court-Affirmative-Action

Dismissing the Reality of Affirmative Action

Gallup and Inside Higher Ed co-hosted a conference in Washington last week, determined to ignore the results of a Gallup survey for IHE showing that nearly two-thirds of Americans oppose affirmative action in college admissions. About 75 to 100 attendees, mostly college administrators, focused on reaction to the Supreme Court decision last June 23rd— Fisher […]

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Thumbs on the Racial Scale at UCLA, Berkeley

It appears as though the University of California succumbed to the  relentless pressure from the California legislature to discriminate more effectively against Asians and whites, i.e., to admit more Hispanics and blacks. The headline of a Los Angeles Times article announces that “UCLA, UC Berkeley boost admissions of Californians, including blacks and Latinos.”  The article […]

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The Remarkably Feeble Fisher Opinion

After the death of Justice Scalia, most people who have been following the protracted Fisher v. University of Texas case (myself included) expected that the Court would let the university’s racial preference system stand. It did that in a 4-3 decision released on June 23. Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justices Ginsburg, […]

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The Fisher Decision: Not Good News, But…

The Supreme Court today upheld the University of Texas’s use of racial preferences in student admissions.  The vote was 4-3, with Justice Kennedy writing the majority opinion, joined by Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, and Sotomayor (Justice Kagan was recused).  Justice Alito write a powerful, 51-page dissent, which he read from the bench. Needless to say, for […]

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New Data on Black Mismatch and Failure at UVa

The University of Virginia’s “Finals Weekend” — what other schools call graduation — is upon us. Not far behind, no doubt, will be the annual accolades such as the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education’s report that “The University of Virginia consistently posts the highest Black student graduation rate of any state-operated university in the […]

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Mismatch: The End of a Liberal Dream

The most disturbing thing about mismatch research (examining the contention that a student can be adversely affected attending a school where her level of preparation is substantially lower than that of her typical classmate ) is that it demonstrates a tense inequity: recipients of affirmative action at selective colleges are not as smart as non-recipients. […]

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Will the Supreme Court Stop Racial Preferences?

Today the Supreme Court hears arguments in round two of Fisher v. Texas. Abigail Fisher, you will recall, claimed (and still claims) that the University of Texas’s admission preferences for blacks and Hispanics amounted to racial discrimination against her because she is white. In round one the Supremes almost agreed but instead vacated and remanded […]

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Fisher II: A Mystery Solved While Asians Get Their Voice

Many legal experts were surprised in June of 2013 when the U.S Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited decision in the University of Texas affirmative action case, Fisher v. Texas. The mere fact that the Court had taken up the case when it could easily have declared it moot indicated to many that at least […]

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Sy Stokes

‘Diversity’ Anger at UCLA

If there were a Heisman Trophy for the most articulate angry black undergraduate, Sy Stokes, a recent UCLA graduate, would surely have won. Subject of a fawning, sprawling 3200-word profile by Eric Hoover in the Chronicle of Higher Education (“A Young Man of Words” — access may require subscription), Stokes made a name for himself […]

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College Students Now–the Good and the Bad

First, the good news:  My undergraduate students here at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, are quite literate, contrary to all the bad press and fears. Every week I give them a 20-minute writing assignment in class, the sole preparation for which is having done the week’s homework.  Turns out they write pretty well; arguably, in […]

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The Mangling of American History

The evolution of the historical profession in the United States in the last fifty years provides much reason for celebration.  It provides even more reason for unhappiness and dread.  Never before has the profession seemed so intellectually vibrant.  An unprecedented amount of scholarship and teaching is being devoted to regions outside of the traditional American […]

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The Sixth Circuit Undermines Affirmative Action

On November 6 the voters of Oklahoma, following in the footsteps of voters in California (1996), Washington (1998), Michigan (2006), Nebraska (2008), and Arizona (2010), passed  a constitutional amendment that prohibits the state from offering “preferred treatment” or engaging in discrimination based on race, color, gender, or ethnicity. On November 15 eight of the fifteen […]

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UCLA’s Latest Display of Outrage

Cross-posted from Can These Bones Live  UCLA law professor Richard Sander has been the target of student protests at his university this week. Sander, a critic of affirmative action, published a report that argued UCLA’s supposedly “holistic” admissions process was quietly including race as a prominent factor in deciding who would be admitted to the […]

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Why Size Matters in College Preferences

By Stuart Taylor, Jr. and Richard Sander Even for people who approve in principle of some use of racial preferences in university admissions — notably including Justice Anthony Kennedy — the size of the preferences, and of the resulting racial gaps in academic performance in college and beyond, should matter a great deal.  So it’s […]

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A ‘Magisterial’ Work on Affirmative Action

“Mend it, don’t end it” was the famous advice on affirmative action from Bill Clinton, who did neither. There are, of course, other useful slogans, such as “Muddle it,” which the Supreme Court essentially did in the 2003 Gratz and Grutter cases. The Court held that the University of Michigan could not give a fixed […]

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We Don’t Need a Different “Affirmative Action”

On the day the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Fisher v. Texas, a case challenging racial preferences in college admissions, the Wall Street Journal published a piece purporting to give “A Liberal Critique of Racial Preferences.” Author Richard Kahlenberg argued (as he almost always does) in favor of changing “affirmative action” to a system […]

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Justice Kennedy and Affirmative Action

The Supreme Court holds oral arguments tomorrow in Fisher v. Texas, possibly the most consequential case in years involving affirmative action. Many of us critics of racial preferences are optimistic that Justice Anthony Kennedy, the likely swing vote, will agree to modify if not overrule Justice O’Connor’s ruling in the 2003 Grutter case, which, in […]

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Left-Right Agreement on Affirmative Action?

Perhaps anticipating a defeat for affirmative action in the Fisher v. University of Texas case about to be argued before the Supreme Court, Columbia University political philosophy professor and former Dean of the College Michele Moody-Adams has just suggested moving away from a fixation on affirmative action and “Toward Real Equality in Higher Education.” Whatever […]

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Why Are There Still Preferences for Women?

Using federal statistics, Laura Norén has prepared a series of graphics showing gender distribution among recent recipients of undergraduate, M.A., and Ph.D./professional degrees. The charts are visually striking, especially since all three sets of charts show movement in an identical direction. According to Norén, by 2020, women are projected to earn 61 percent of all […]

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Fisher and “Diversity”: The More Things Change…

Browsing through the collection of over 70 pro-“diversity” amicus briefs submitted on behalf of the University of Texas in the Fisher case, I am reminded, as I often am, of how eerily the current defense of “taking race into account,” i.e., preferential treatment based on race, resembles the old Southern arguments in defense of segregation. […]

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The Anti-Defamation League Reverses Course on Affirmative Action

In explaining why the American Jewish Committee had (with his help) supported Alan Bakke’s lawsuit against the University of California but also supported the University of Michigan’s racial preferences in Gratz and Grutter, Alan Dershowitz wrote that We feared that our hard-earned right to be admitted on the merits would be taken away. The WASP […]

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Texas: Racial Preferences Now, Racial Preferences Forever!

The University of Texas has filed its main brief in Fisher v. University of Texas, and it’s a doozy. It argues, among other oddities, that the continuing “underrepresentation” of blacks and Hispanics requires the continued use of racial preferences to increase their numbers, but that the reason for increasing their numbers has nothing to do […]

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