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Affirmative Action On Campus Does More Harm Than Good

From the Panel

  • For: Gail Heriot

  • The Sad Irony of Affirmative Action
    Gail Heriot, National Affairs, Winter 2013We now have fewer African-American physicians, scientists, and engineers than we would have had using race-neutral admissions policies. We have fewer college professors and lawyers, too. Put more bluntly, affirmative action has backfired.
  • Video: Gail Heriot Discusses Affirmative Action
    Gail Heriot, Cato Institute, September 17, 2013Before the Grutter case, constitutional experts thought that the days of race preferential admissions policies were numbered… The Supreme Court had never really approved this kind of discrimination.
  • Supreme Court Update: Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin - Podcast
    Peter N. Kirsanow, Gail Heriot, and Dean A. Reuter, Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast, July 16, 2013As well-meaning as affirmative action policies were originally, they’ve backfired badly, and, at some point, colleges and universities and the courts are going to have to come to terms with that. (Heriot begins at 10:00.)
  • Amicus Brief for Fisher v. University of Texas
    Amicus Brief of Gail Heriot, Peter Kirsanow and Todd Gaziano, Members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, in support of the petitionerRace-preferential admissions were intended to facilitate the entry of minorities into higher education and eventually into high-prestige careers. There is considerable evidence, however, that they have the opposite effect. Affirmative action thus works to the detriment of its supposed beneficiaries, who are seldom informed of this risk.
  • Want to Be a Doctor? A Scientist? An Engineer? An Affirmative Action Leg up May Hurt Your Chances
    Gail Heriot, Engage, December 23, 2010The assumption behind the fierce competition for admission to elite colleges and universities is clear: The more elite the school one attends, the brighter one’s future. That assumption, however, may well be flawed.
  • Affirmative Action in American Law Schools
    Gail Heriot, Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues, July 16, 2008Even the most optimistic view of the data shows that racial preferences in law school admissions come at a heavy cost—a cost that disproportionately falls upon African Americans.

  • For: Richard Sander

  • The Unraveling of Affirmative Action
    Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr., The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2012Racial preferences spring from worthy intentions, but they have had unintended consequences—including an academic mismatch in many cases between minority students and the schools to which they are admitted. There's a better way to help the disadvantaged.
  • How Does Affirmative Action Impact Colleges?
    NPR’s All Things Considered, October 9, 2012Robert Siegel talks to UCLA Law Professor and author Richard Sander about the impact on California's education system when the state banned Affirmative Action.
  • The Painful Truth About Affirmative Action
    Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr., The Atlantic, October 2, 2012Why racial preferences in college admissions hurt minority students -- and shroud the education system in dishonesty.
  • A Systemic Analysis of Affirmative Action in American Law Schools
    Richard Sander, Stanford Law Review, November 2004Law school admissions preferences impose enormous costs on blacks and create relatively minor benefits.
  • A Reply to Critics
    Richard Sander, Stanford Law Review, July 24, 2005Those who argue against the mismatch theory have thus far been silent about alternative explanations or solutions.
  • Against: Randall Kennedy

  • In Praise of Affirmative Action
    Randall Kennedy, Salon, September 3, 2013Having snubbed outstanding black scholars in previous eras, the American Academy and similar organizations are using blacks like me to make amends and to serve other functions. I do not feel belittled by this. Nor am I wracked by angst or guilt or self-doubt.
  • An Interview with Randall Kennedy on Affirmative Action
    Don Franzen, Los Angeles Review of Books, December 15, 2013A very strong argument can be made that affirmative action helps us. It helps us on our way towards reaching a state of affairs in which we can say that all persons actually enjoy the equal protection of the law.
  • Randall Kennedy: "For Discrimination; Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law"
    Roosevelt House, October 17, 2013Kennedy accounts for the slipperiness of the term “affirmative action,” delves into the complex and surprising legal history of the policy, and analyzes key arguments pro and con advanced by the left and right.

  • Against: Theodore Shaw

  • Fisher and the Future of Affirmative Action
    American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, October 9, 2012Shaw discusses the history of affirmative action, and MALDEF's Thomas Saenz explains why continuing discrimination in Texas is particularly important to understanding Fisher v. University of Texas.
  • Handbook on Diversity and the Law: Navigating a Complex Landscape to Foster Greater Faculty and Student Diversity in Higher Education
    Robert Burgoyne, Theodore M. Shaw, Ralph C. Dawson, Rena Scheinkman, et al., American Association for the Advancement of Science and Associate of American Universities, 2010How can policy leaders of our nation's colleges and universities increase the racial and gender diversity of their faculties and student bodies so as to champion and sustain effective science, technology, engineering and mathematics ("STEM") programs in what often seems to be an overly complicated, barrier-laden, and hostile legal environment?
  • In the Affirmative: Education and Affirmative Action
    The Briar Lehrer Show, May 24, 2007Ted Shaw, director-counsel and president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Lani Guinier, civil rights scholar, Harvard law professor, and author of Meritocracy Inc.; and Lee Bollinger, president of Columbia University, discuss the future of affirmative action in education.
  • Interview with Ted Shaw: For the Defense
    Harrison Barnes, LawCrossingShaw discusses why the affirmative action stakes are so high, and how big firms can be more diverse.
  • Remembering the Real Dr. King
    Theodore Shaw, ACSblog, August 26, 2011King’s dream was not of a simplistic color-blindness; he was a strong advocate of affirmative action and supporter of school desegregation.
  • Supplemental Brief of Amici Curiae in Support of Appellees
    Supplemental Brief of Amici Curiae the Black Student Alliance at the University of Texas at Austin, the Black Ex-Students of Texas, Inc., and the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. in Support of Appellees, Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas et al., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, November 1, 2013Consideration of race in UT’s holistic admissions process is vital to create a broadly diverse student body. Open paths to leadership and opportunity are mission-critical for UT.
  • Race Still Matters
    Theodore M. Shaw, The Washington Post, February 18, 2003For a generation of us who grew up in poor and segregated black and Latino communities, affirmative action opened opportunities to attend our nation's best institutions and exponentially increased our life chances.