affirmative action

  • The Blindness of the Supreme Court's "Colorblindness"

    by Drew Gilpin Faust

    "Affirmative action opened a door I would walk through.... My professors, soon to be my colleagues, could imagine me among them because the very notion of women faculty had been given a legitimacy and a thinkability."

  • Can Universities Protect Diverse Admissions and Excellence?

    by John Thelin

    The vastly improved technology available to college admissions officers means that a handful of selective institutions can serve the interest of both nominal diversity and elite reproduction, while exacerbating the divide in elementary and secondary educational quality in the nation. 

  • The Sad Death of Affirmative Action

    by Jay Caspian Kang

    New Yorker writer Jay Caspian Kang argues that while the benefit of "diversity" is largely uncontested, the brand of diversity that Harvard and other elite institutions want to ensure is circumscribed by the bounds of economic elitism, a far cry from the high moral purposes originally claimed for affirmative action. 

  • History Makes the Best Argument to Keep Affirmative Action

    by Glenn C. Altschuler and David Wippman

    "The Supreme Court’s continued focus on educational benefits as the legal justification for affirmative action has led the policy’s supporters to play down what may well be a more compelling argument: the need to overcome past and continuing discrimination."

  • Inside the Affirmative Action Cases Before SCOTUS

    Edward Blum is a longtime conservative legal activist who is leading lawsuits claiming that affirmative action in admissions violates the requirement that the constituiton be color-blind; whether there is any such principle is debatable. Includes insights from historians Hugh Davis Graham and Eddie R. Cole. 

  • SCOTUS Affirmative Action Cases Hinge on History of Brown and the 14th Amendment

    by Linda Greenhouse

    Neither Brown nor the 14th Amendment were driven by a belief in a "colorblind" Constitution; instead, they were rooted in the historically specific context of racial oppression. The plaintiffs in two cases before the court want to obscure that history, says veteran court reporter Linda Greenhouse.

  • A Pledge to Recuse by KBJ Likely Means the End of Affirmative Action

    by Keisha N. Blain

    With a challenge to Harvard's affirmative action looming, Judge Jackson's pledge to recuse herself means that the Supreme Court is more likely to rule that affirmative action in private university admissions is unconstitutional, with the likely consequence of increasing racial inequality. 

  • SCOTUS Could Kill off Affirmative Action with Devastating Results

    by Keisha N. Blain

    Affirmative action policies have always aimed at changing the nation's long history of racially unequal education; that's why they've faced militant opposition all along, and why a conservative Supreme Court wants to destroy them. 

  • Will SCOTUS Take the Opportunity to Ban Race-Conscious Admissions?

    A veteran higher education lawyer says that dire predictions that the Supreme Court will ban race-based affirmative action in admissions; narrowly-tailored diversity initiatives may survive despite the court's broad conservative majority. 

  • Can Affirmative Action Survive the Supreme Court?

    by Nicholas Lemann

    The moderate Republican appointee has always served as the Justice to protect modest versions of affirmative action. What will happen in a pending case now that such Justices are gone from the court? The historical trajectory of supposedly meritocratic admissions offers clues.