Affirmative Action: Restoring Constitutional Rights in Higher Education

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February 9, 2019

Professor Rao’s academic qualifications and professional experiences are exceptional — Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Yale University, Juris Doctor with high honors from the University of Chicago Law School where she was a Law Review editor. She was a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. And she is now an Associate Professor with tenure at George Mason University School of Law, where she founded the Center for the Study of the Administrative State.

November 15, 2018

Join CFJ on November 17 at the Council of Korean Americans (CKA) National Summit for a panel discussion of affirmative action and race-based discrimination in college admissions.

September 16, 2017

Major American corporations are pressuring their outside law firms to meet diversity goals both firm-wide and in the legal teams assigned to the company’s work. This pressure has resulted in the widespread use of race and gender preferences in hiring, promotion, and work assignment decisions by America’s premier law firms. Are these preferences legal under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 42 U.S.C. § 1981? Are they good policy?

August 4, 2017

The debate about racial preferences in admissions has been reignited by news that the Justice Department’s civil rights division anticipates “investigations and possible litigation" into the "intentional race-based discrimination" that is part and parcel of affirmative action in college and university admissions. The New York Times reports this as evidence of a Trump administration "project" aimed at "investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies." In response, however, the Justice Department explained that it was merely working on a single "administrative complaint filed by a coalition of 64 Asian-American associations in May 2015 that the prior Administration left unresolved."

Curt A. Levey, president of the Committee for Justice, a conservative advocacy group focused on the federal judiciary, helped challenge the University of Michigan’s race-conscious admission policies in his former capacity as director of legal and public affairs for the Center for Individual Rights. He says whether colleges will be able to defend their policies "depends on whether the courts want to look at what colleges say they are doing or what is actually going on..."

The long wait is over. After months of deliberation, the U.S. Supreme Court has vacated a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that had upheld the race-conscious admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin. We asked experts to weigh in on this important decision and what it means for race-conscious admissions at colleges across the country...

Nearly four years after leaving the presidency of the University of Michigan, Lee C. Bollinger is again under fire from critics of its race-conscious admissions policies. What has put him once more in the cross hairs of conservatives is a decision by...

Colleges' cautious reaction to the Supreme Court's affirmative-action decisions may have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Issues in...

An advocacy group that has led the legal assault against race-conscious college admissions is hoping to use a longstanding lawsuit against the University of Washington School of Law to further limit the...

Read more in The Chronicle of Higher Education

A new software program promises to help colleges maintain diversity in admissions in a way that complies with last year's Supreme Court rulings, which allow limited use of race as long as colleges steer clear of quotas or extra points for minority...

Three organizations opposed to affirmative action in college admissions have mounted efforts to force selective colleges throughout the nation to disclose exactly how much weight they give to the race and ethnicity of applicants. The U.S. Supreme Court...

Supreme Court rulings confuse colleges and may imperil scholarships based on race...

A student at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo sued university officials on Thursday for what he and his lawyers called a violation of his First Amendment right to free speech. Steven Hinkle, a senior, said that university...

In striking down racial-admissions preferences at the University of Michigan's liberal-arts college in Gratz v. Bollinger while upholding its law school's race-based policies in Grutter v. Bollinger, the court found campus diversity compelling enough to justify some consideration of race. But the court subjected race-based admissions to new limits in time and scope. Taken together, the twin decisions make it clear that race must be used in a "flexible, nonmechanical way" and cannot generally be a "decisive" factor. Instead, colleges must engage "in a highly individualized, holistic review of each applicant's file, giving serious consideration to all the ways an applicant might contribute to a diverse educational environment." As Gratz stated, the "critical criteria" in such a review "are often individual qualities or experience not dependent upon race but sometimes associated with it." Yet higher-education institutions may n...

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