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Law and Race Commons

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Civil Rights and Discrimination

Affirmative action

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

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Stepping Through Grutter'S Open Doors: What The University Of Michigan Affirmative Action Cases Mean For Race-Conscious Government Decisionmaking, Helen L. Norton Oct 2005

Stepping Through Grutter'S Open Doors: What The University Of Michigan Affirmative Action Cases Mean For Race-Conscious Government Decisionmaking, Helen L. Norton

Faculty Scholarship

In Grutter, a majority of the Court for the first time identified an instrumental justification for race-based government decisionmaking as compelling -- specifically, a public law school’s interest in attaining a diverse student body. Grutter not only recognized the value of diversity in higher education, but left open the possibility that the Court might find similar justifications compelling as well. The switch to instrumental justifications for affirmative action appears a strategic response to the Court’s narrowing of the availability of remedial rationales. A number of thoughtful commentators, however, have reacted to this trend with concern and even dismay, questioning ...