Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The future of affirmative action

This article summarizes some of the papers in this session, focusing on Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s expectation, expressed in her opinion for the Court in Grutter v. Bollinger, that the "need" for affirmative action will be gone by 2028. The consensus seems to be that this won’t be the case.

So far as I can tell from the article, the papers focused on college admission policies and on government support for education programs at all levels (elementary and secondary included). There seems to have been little or no talk about the "cultural" or "social" causes of academic achievement (or the lack thereof). These are surely more resistant to the policies the panelists seem to favor. What’s more, it’s not clear to me that affirmative action addresses these causes either.

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