December 27, 2013 |
Whatever you think of affirmative action programs at universities and graduate schools, it's important to know whether they're working - that is, whether they are preparing their beneficiaries for professional success. But for several years now, the California bar has resisted attempts by a critic of racial preferences to obtain information about the test scores and grades of graduates who take the state bar examination. Last week, the California Supreme Court wisely rejected the state bar's argument and ruled it must turn over the information to Richard Sander, a law professor at UCLA, and other researchers - provided that a way is found to protect the identities of individual test-takers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 2013 |
Researchers looking into the possible effects of affirmative action programs on law schools and the legal profession should have access to state bar exam scores and other records if individuals' privacy can be ensured, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The unanimous decision was a boost for UCLA law professor Richard Sander, who has been battling the state bar for five years to obtain the data. Sander wants the information to test his controversial theory that racial preferences in law school admissions might hurt minority students by putting them in overly competitive environments.
October 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court's conservative justices signaled Tuesday that they were inclined to uphold California and Michigan ballot measures that forbid state universities from granting "preferential treatment" to applicants based on race. Oral arguments on affirmative action turned into a debate over the meaning of equal treatment under the law, with the justices sounding split along the usual ideological lines. The conservatives, agreeing with Michigan's state lawyers, said removing race as a factor led to equal treatment as required under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
October 14, 2013 |
In 2006, Michigan voters banned affirmative action at the state's public universities. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments challenging that ban. If you support affirmative action, you must hope that the court will strike it down, right? Alas, it's not that simple. This case isn't about whether state universities may provide preferential treatment in their admissions policies. Rather, the question is whether the voters of Michigan violated the U.S. Constitution when they amended the state Constitution to say that universities "shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.
August 29, 2013 |
Why is America so intent on killing affirmative action? Randall Kennedy's clear-eyed new book, "For Discrimination," offers many reasons, among them: As a remedy for racial injustice, albeit a modest one, affirmative action invokes slavery and, therefore, rattles the philosophical foundation of democracy and fairness upon which much of America believes the country was built. Another reason is that affirmative action is seen as increasingly incompatible with the aims of the so-called post-racial age in which a first black president would seem to argue against any more need for racial redress.