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Affirmative action

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Full-Text Articles in Law

"All (Poor) Lives Matter": How Class-Not-Race Logic Reinscribes Race And Class Privilege, Jonathan P. Feingold Oct 2020

"All (Poor) Lives Matter": How Class-Not-Race Logic Reinscribes Race And Class Privilege, Jonathan P. Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

In An Intersectional Critique of Tiers of Scrutiny, Professors Devon Carbado and Kimberlé Crenshaw infuse affirmative action with an overdue dose of intersectionality theory. Their intervention, which highlights the disfavored remedial status of Black women, exposes equality law as an unmarked intersectional project that “privileges the intersectional identities of white antidiscrimination claimants.”

This latent racial privilege rests on two doctrinal pillars. First, single-axis tiers of scrutiny, which force claimants and courts to view discrimination in either/or terms (that is, race-based or gender-based or class-based), contravene intersectionality’s core insight that “people live their lives co-constitutively as ‘both/and,’ rather ...


Reframing Affirmative Action: From Diversity To Mobility And Full Participation, Susan P. Sturm Jan 2020

Reframing Affirmative Action: From Diversity To Mobility And Full Participation, Susan P. Sturm

Faculty Scholarship

Legality and efficacy call for reframing the affirmative-action debate within a broader institutional effort to address structural inequality in higher education. Although defending affirmative action as we know it continues to be important and necessary, it is crucial to identify and address the disconnect between affirmative action and higher education's practices that contribute to enduring racial and economic inequality and waning social mobility. There is a persistent and growing gap between higher education’s rhetoric of diversity, opportunity, and mobility and the reality of underparticipation, polarization, and stratification. That gap has racial, gender, and socioeconomic dimensions. The path to ...


Sffa V. Harvard: How Affirmative Action Myths Mask White Bonus, Jonathan P. Feingold Apr 2019

Sffa V. Harvard: How Affirmative Action Myths Mask White Bonus, Jonathan P. Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

In the ongoing litigation of Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College, Harvard faces allegations that its once-heralded admissions process discriminates against Asian Americans. Public discourse has revealed a dominant narrative: affirmative action is viewed as the presumptive cause of Harvard’s alleged “Asian penalty.” Yet this narrative misrepresents the plaintiff’s own theory of discrimination. Rather than implicating affirmative action, the underlying allegations portray the phenomenon of “negative action” — that is, an admissions regime in which White applicants take the seats of their more qualified Asian-American counterparts. Nonetheless, we are witnessing a broad failure to see this case for ...


Second Redemption, Third Reconstruction, Richard A. Primus Jan 2019

Second Redemption, Third Reconstruction, Richard A. Primus

Articles

In The Accumulation of Advantages, the picture that Professor Owen Fiss paints about equality during and since the Second Reconstruction is largely a picture in black and white. That makes some sense. The black/white experience is probably the most important throughline in the story of equal protection. It was the central theme of both the First and Second Reconstructions. In keeping with that orientation, the picture of disadvantage described by Fiss’s theory of cumulative responsibility is largely drawn from the black/white experience. Important as it is, however, the black/white experience does not exhaust the subject of ...


Radical Reconstruction: (Re) Embracing Affirmative Action In Private Employment, Hina B. Shah Jan 2019

Radical Reconstruction: (Re) Embracing Affirmative Action In Private Employment, Hina B. Shah

Publications

The history of employment in this country is the history of racism. Using public and private mechanisms as well as violence to devise and enforce segregation and preferential treatment, the white male institutionalized an unprecedented advantage in the labor market. Yet this is rarely acknowledged as a factor in the current widening economic disparity between whites and blacks. Today, many white Americans, cloaked in the myth of colorblindness and meritocracy, refuse to see the persistence of racial prejudice, disadvantage and discrimination in the labor market.

This article is a call for a radical reconstruction of the private labor market through ...


Revitalizing The Meaning Of Diversity For Racial Justice In Education, Tanya K. Hernandez Jan 2019

Revitalizing The Meaning Of Diversity For Racial Justice In Education, Tanya K. Hernandez

Faculty Scholarship

The concept of diversity undermines the true spirit of any affirmative action policy, which is to remedy society's racism and promote racial justice and equality. This is because “diversity” detached from racial justice can signify any human difference unrelated to social inequality. Infusing the notion of “diversity” with the insights from implicit bias research would mean instead considering the goal of “diversity” as a device for making admissions procedures more equitable and justified amidst the continuing implicit bias that can be actually measured. Furthermore, connecting the diversity goal as a device for procedurally addressing

implicit bias in admissions decisions ...


Hidden In Plain Sight: A More Compelling Case For Diversity, Jonathan P. Feingold Jan 2019

Hidden In Plain Sight: A More Compelling Case For Diversity, Jonathan P. Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

For four decades, the diversity rationale has offered a lifeline to affirmative action in higher education. Yet even after forty years, this critical feature of equal protection doctrine remains constitutionally insecure and politically fraught. Legal challenges persist, the Justice Department has launched a new assault on race-conscious admissions, and an impending shift on the Supreme Court could usher in an era of increased hostility toward the concept of diversity itself. The future of race-conscious admissions arguably hangs in the balance.

In this Article, I argue that the diversity rationale’s present fragility rests, in part, on its defenders’ failure to ...


No First Amendment Shield For Homophobic Prof, Arthur S. Leonard Jan 2018

No First Amendment Shield For Homophobic Prof, Arthur S. Leonard

Other Publications

No abstract provided.


End Of The Racial Age: Reflections On The Changing Racial And Ethnic Ancestry Of Blacks On Affirmative Action, Kevin D. Brown Jan 2017

End Of The Racial Age: Reflections On The Changing Racial And Ethnic Ancestry Of Blacks On Affirmative Action, Kevin D. Brown

Articles by Maurer Faculty

No abstract provided.


Qualitative Diversity: Affirmative Action's New Reframe, Eang L. Ngov Jan 2017

Qualitative Diversity: Affirmative Action's New Reframe, Eang L. Ngov

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Deserving Poor, The Undeserving Poor, And Class-Based Affirmative Action, Khiara M. Bridges Jan 2017

The Deserving Poor, The Undeserving Poor, And Class-Based Affirmative Action, Khiara M. Bridges

Faculty Scholarship

This Article is a critique of class-based affirmative action. It begins by observing that many professed politically conservative individuals have championed class-based affirmative action. However, it observes that political conservatism is not typically identified as an ideology that generally approves of improving the poor’s well-being through the means that class-based affirmative action employs — that is, through redistributing wealth by taking wealth from a wealthy individual and giving it directly to a poor person. This is precisely what class-based affirmative action does: it takes a seat in an incoming class (a species of wealth) from a wealthy individual and gives ...


Campus Racial Unrest And The Diversity Bargain, Steven W. Bender Oct 2016

Campus Racial Unrest And The Diversity Bargain, Steven W. Bender

Faculty Scholarship

Campus racial unrest challenging the status quo of unwelcoming environments for students of color drew recent national attention. While achieving some short-term victories, the current protests prompted backlash that exposes the sinister and sobering foundations of racism on college campuses that connect to the seeming permanence of racism embedded in U.S. institutions and law. In this article, I suggest that despite the window dressing of diversity mission statements and policies that claim to open the campus doors to racial minorities, society fears an educated and activist minority population that sets out to change the status quo of systemic racism ...


Remedying Systemic Sex Discrimination By Gender Quotas: Just Because, Tracy Thomas Jan 2016

Remedying Systemic Sex Discrimination By Gender Quotas: Just Because, Tracy Thomas

Con Law Center Articles and Publications

When newly-elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked by surprised reporters why he appointed women as fifty percent of his new cabinet, he responded simply, “Because it’s 2015.” Just because. Because it’s time. In fact, he suggested, it is long past time for having to justify including women as one-half of the power structure when women constitute one-half of the population. And it’s time for meaningful change in shared governance by something as pragmatically simple as selecting fifteen women and fifteen men for appointments.

Similarly, it is long past time for justifying the need to reform ...


Ferguson, Fisher, And The Future: Diversity And Inclusion As A Remedy For Implicit Racial Bias, Ann Killenbeck Jan 2016

Ferguson, Fisher, And The Future: Diversity And Inclusion As A Remedy For Implicit Racial Bias, Ann Killenbeck

School of Law Faculty Publications and Presentations

This article examines a number of key issues posed by the Supreme Court's recent decision to once again examine the constitutionality of the affirmative admissions system used by the University of Texas at Austin. Its focus is, however, not on the constitutionality of racial preferences, but rather on the obligations imposed on institutions that use such preferences. The article makes two unique contributions to the literature. First, it notes and discusses the role of implicit bias in the current American political and social scene and connects implicit bias to the affirmative action debate. Second, it focuses on legal education ...


Beyond Reparation: Affirmative Action As A Solution For Disparate Representation, Suny Cardenas-Gomez Jan 2016

Beyond Reparation: Affirmative Action As A Solution For Disparate Representation, Suny Cardenas-Gomez

Student Research

This essay provides support for Affirmative Action policy from the perspective that both supporters and opponents want merit-based evaluations. Disparate representation and prejudice-driven discrimination, however, make this impossible. Affirmative Action gives minorities the opportunity to change their representation in certain fields, therefore changing the way they are perceived, and eventually dissipating existing race-based discrimination in the evaluation process.


Fisher’S Cautionary Tale And The Urgent Need For Equal Access To An Excellent Education, Kimberly J. Robinson Jan 2016

Fisher’S Cautionary Tale And The Urgent Need For Equal Access To An Excellent Education, Kimberly J. Robinson

Law Faculty Publications

In this Comment, I argue that much greater care and attention must be paid to the educational opportunity gaps and resulting achievement gaps that prompt many colleges and universities to rely on affirmative action. Increased attention to greater equality and excellence in elementary and secondary education can help reduce or eliminate the need for affirmative action, which is an approach that fundamentally aims to ensure equality. Without additional attention to closing opportunity gaps, the Court may declare that the time has come for affirmative action to end, but the United States will not be equipped to maintain diverse, selective postsecondary ...


Race, Restructurings, And Equal Protection Doctrine Through The Lens Of Schuette V. Bamn, Steve Sanders Jan 2016

Race, Restructurings, And Equal Protection Doctrine Through The Lens Of Schuette V. Bamn, Steve Sanders

Articles by Maurer Faculty

No abstract provided.


The Fight For Equal Protection: Reconstruction-Redemption Redux, Kermit Roosevelt Iii, Patricia Stottlemyer Jan 2016

The Fight For Equal Protection: Reconstruction-Redemption Redux, Kermit Roosevelt Iii, Patricia Stottlemyer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

With Justice Scalia gone, and Justices Ginsburg and Kennedy in their late seventies, there is the possibility of significant movement on the Supreme Court in the next several years. A two-justice shift could upend almost any area of constitutional law, but the possible movement in race-based equal protection jurisprudence provides a particularly revealing window into the larger trends at work. In the battle over equal protection, two strongly opposed visions of the Constitution contend against each other, and a change in the Court’s composition may determine the outcome of that struggle. In this essay, we set out the current ...


Class-Based Affirmative Action, Or The Lies That We Tell About The Insignificance Of Race, Khiara Bridges Jan 2016

Class-Based Affirmative Action, Or The Lies That We Tell About The Insignificance Of Race, Khiara Bridges

Faculty Scholarship

This Article conducts a critique of class-based affirmative action, identifying and problematizing the narrative that it tells about racial progress. The Article argues that class-based affirmative action denies that race is a significant feature of American life. It denies that individuals - and groups - continue to be advantaged and disadvantaged on account of race. It denies that there is such a thing called race privilege that materially impacts people’s worlds. Moreover, this Article suggests that at least part of the reason why class-based affirmative action has been embraced by those who oppose race-based affirmative action is precisely because it denies ...


Economic Inequality And College Admissions Policies, David Orentlicher Jan 2016

Economic Inequality And College Admissions Policies, David Orentlicher

Scholarly Works

As economic inequality in the United States has reached unprecedented heights, reformers have focused considerable attention on changes in the law that would provide for greater equality in wealth among Americans. No doubt, much benefit would result from more equitable tax policies, fairer workplace regulation, and more generous spending policies.

But there may be even more to gain by revising college admissions policies. Admissions policies at the Ivy League and other elite American colleges do much to exacerbate the problem of economic inequality. Accordingly, reforming those policies may represent the most effective strategy for restoring a reasonable degree of economic ...


The Impact Of Affirmative Action On The Employment Of Minorities And Women Over Three Decades: 1973-2003, Fidan Ana Kurtulus Jan 2015

The Impact Of Affirmative Action On The Employment Of Minorities And Women Over Three Decades: 1973-2003, Fidan Ana Kurtulus

Upjohn Institute Working Papers

What role has affirmative action played in the growth of minority and female employment in U.S. firms? This paper analyzes this issue by comparing the employment of minorities and women at firms holding federal contracts and therefore mandated to implement affirmative action, and at noncontracting firms, over the course of three decades spanning 1973–2003. It constitutes the first study to comprehensively document the long-term impact of affirmative action in federal contracting on the U.S. employment landscape. The study uses a new panel data set of over 100,000 large private-sector firms across all industries and regions, obtained ...


Identity And Form, Jessica A. Clarke Jan 2015

Identity And Form, Jessica A. Clarke

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Recent controversies over identity claims have prompted questions about who should qualify for affirmative action, who counts as family, who is a man or a woman, and who is entitled to the benefits of U.S. citizenship. Commentators across the political spectrum have made calls to settle these debates with evidence of official designations on birth certificates, application forms, or other records. This move toward formalities seeks to transcend the usual divide between those who believe identities should be determined based on objective biological or social standards, and those who believe identities are a matter of individual choice. Yet legal ...


Gayffirmative Action: The Constitutionality Of Sexual Orientation-Based Affirmative Action Policies, Peter Nicolas Jan 2015

Gayffirmative Action: The Constitutionality Of Sexual Orientation-Based Affirmative Action Policies, Peter Nicolas

Articles

Twenty-five years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court established a consistency principle in its race-based equal protection cases. That principle requires courts to apply the same strict scrutiny to racial classifications designed to benefit racial minorities—such as affirmative action policies—as they do to laws invidiously discriminating against them. The new consistency principle, under which discrimination against whites is subject to strict scrutiny, conflicted with the Court's established criteria for declaring a group to be a suspect or quasi-suspect class entitled to heightened scrutiny, which focused on such considerations as the history of discrimination against the group and ...


Lsac Data Reveals That Black/White Multiracials Outscore All Blacks On Lsat By Wide Margins, Kevin D. Brown Jan 2015

Lsac Data Reveals That Black/White Multiracials Outscore All Blacks On Lsat By Wide Margins, Kevin D. Brown

Articles by Maurer Faculty

No abstract provided.


On Class-Not-Race, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2015

On Class-Not-Race, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Book Chapters

Throughout the civil rights era, strong voices have argued that policy interventions should focus on class or socioeconomic status, not race. At times, this position-taking has seemed merely tactical, opportunistic, or in bad faith. Many who have opposed race-based civil rights interventions on this basis have not turned around to support robust efforts to reduce class-based or socioeconomic inequality. That sort of opportunism is interesting and important for understanding policy debates in civil rights, but it is not my focus here. I am more interested here in the people who clearly mean it. For example, President Lyndon Baines Johnson—who ...


From Access To Success: Affirmative Action Outcomes In A Class-Based System, Matthew N. Gaertner, Melissa Hart Jan 2015

From Access To Success: Affirmative Action Outcomes In A Class-Based System, Matthew N. Gaertner, Melissa Hart

Articles

Scholarly discussion about affirmative action policy has been dominated in the past ten years by debates over "mismatch theory'"--the claim that race-conscious affirmative action harms those it is intended to help by placing students who receive preferences among academically superior peers in environments where they will be overmatched and unable to compete. Despite serious empirical and theoretical challenges to this claim in academic circles, mismatch has become widely accepted outside those circles, so much so that the theory played prominently in Justice Clarence Thomas's concurring opinion in Fisher v. University of Texas. This Article explores whether mismatch occurs ...


Brief For Society Of American Law Teachers As Amicus Curiae Supporting Respondents, University Of Texas At Austin, Marc A. Hearron, David D. Cross, Bryan J. Leitch Jan 2015

Brief For Society Of American Law Teachers As Amicus Curiae Supporting Respondents, University Of Texas At Austin, Marc A. Hearron, David D. Cross, Bryan J. Leitch

Society of American Law Teachers Archive

No abstract provided.


Fisher V. Ut Austin - Contextualized Brief, Lauren H. Sobotka Oct 2014

Fisher V. Ut Austin - Contextualized Brief, Lauren H. Sobotka

Student Publications

Contextualization of the 2013 Supreme Court case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, in which Abigail Fisher was denied admission. This paper also analyzes past Court cases dealing with affirmative action in the admissions process.


A Revolution At War With Itself? Preserving Employment Preferences From Weber To Ricci, Sophia Z. Lee Jun 2014

A Revolution At War With Itself? Preserving Employment Preferences From Weber To Ricci, Sophia Z. Lee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Two aspects of the constitutional transformation Bruce Ackerman describes in The Civil Rights Revolution were on a collision course, one whose trajectory has implications for Ackerman’s account and for his broader theory of constitutional change. Ackerman makes a compelling case that what he terms “reverse state action” (the targeting of private actors) and “government by numbers” (the use of statistics to identify and remedy violations of civil rights laws) defined the civil rights revolution. Together they “requir[ed] private actors, as well as state officials, to . . . realize the principles of constitutional equality” and allowed the federal government to “actually ...


Still Hazy After All These Years: The Lack Of Empirical Evidence And Logic Supporting Mismatch, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, William Kidder Mar 2014

Still Hazy After All These Years: The Lack Of Empirical Evidence And Logic Supporting Mismatch, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, William Kidder

Faculty Scholarship

In the context of reviewing the book "Mismatch" by Sander and Taylor, the authors provide a comprehensive review and synthesis of dozens of social science research studies regarding affirmative action, mismatch, graduation rates and labor market earnings. In addition, the authors look at the recent graduation rates of nearly two hundred thousand black and Latino students at one hundred U.S. research intensive universities (Table 1). The authors conclude that the social science research overall, and particularly the best peer-reviewed studies, do not support the mismatch hypothesis with respect to affirmative action and African American and Latino college graduation rates ...