Affirmative Action

Special Report

Going Negative on Affirmative Action

By 4.23.14

The good news about yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling is that it affirmed the right of the people to ban racial preferences in university admissions. The bad news is that it didn't go further.

In 2003, the Court handed down two landmark decisions: Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger. Taken together, the cases struck down a racial quota system used in admissions at the University of Michigan, but allowed for more limited race-based preferences. As Kevin Mooney pointed out, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said in the Grutter decision that voters have the last say on affirmative action regimes.

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Supreme Court Ruling Empowers Voters to Strike Down Racial Preferences

By on 4.22.14 | 4:06PM

When Sandra Day O’Connor wrote her majority opinion in the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger Supreme Court decision, she explicitly said that voters had every right to strike down race and gender preferences. That’s important because the news media does not typically report on this part of the decision.

O’Connor also ruled in Grutter that the University of Michigan Law School could use race as one of many factors in a “narrowly tailored fashion” to achieve diversity. That’s the part that gets all the press. But the majority in Grutter also outlawed the use of hard, systemic quotas. Moreover, the Court made it clear that quotas could not be used in a separate, but related case known as Gratz v. Bollinger, which said the point system used at the University of Michigan’s undergraduate program was unconstitutional.

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Political Hay

The Borking of Frank Ricci

By 7.15.09

When he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the New Haven firefighter will once again be on the wrong end of liberal empathy.
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