Blog Category: Affirmative Action
Written by: *Staci Pesin
As Law Students, we have all taken Constitutional law in law school, and if not you will shortly. For those of you who have taken Constitutional law, we should all be familiar with these most recognized cases: Roe v. Wade, Brown v. Board of Education, and Marbury v. Madison. However, there is a case that you might not be familiar with, the case of Grutter v. Bollinger, which was an affirmative action case. In 2003, the Supreme Court held in Grutter v. Bollinger that the University of Michigan was allowed to use an affirmative action based admission policy in the interest of promoting diversity at their school.
Nine years later, the Supreme Court has decided to hear another affirmative action case. This case took place in Texas. A Caucasian student alleged that the University of Texas denied her admission because of her race and that the school gives preferential treatment to African American and Latino applicants. The University of Texas has a race-based admission plan where it admits the top ten percent of high school students. With many high schools in Texas heavily made up of minority students, racial diversity has increased at the university. In addition, The University of Texas also has a class-based program for economically disadvantaged students, which has also increased racial diversity at the university.
Carolyn Warner, a student writer for The Journal of Gender, Race & Justice, suggests that it is time to end race-based affirmative action but notes that racial diversity in schools is a compelling government goal. She suggests we focus on fixing the class gap which would help bridge the racial gap. Studies have shown that affirmative action programs based on race help the economically advantaged and the author suggests that with class-based affirmative action we will be helping the economically disadvantaged as well as minorities. Her ultimate goal is certainly noble, however fixing the class gap is not going to happen overnight.
The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.