My Two Cents: Affirmative Action Case

March 31st, 2012, bySean Nixon

This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding affirmative action for the first time in nearly a decade. Photo:Duncan Lock creativecommons via Wikimedia

Since 1997, the state of Texas has had a policy in which the top ten percent of any of its high schools’ graduating classes would have automatic entrance into any state-funded universities, including the University of Texas.

This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on claims that a female student was denied admittance to the University of Texas due to its affirmative action policy.

There are a two major concerns I have with her argument.

First off is the student’s academic standing at the time of her high school graduation. With respect to the “top ten” rule, this student just didn’t graduate in that percentile. So it wasn’t that she was denied admittance due to race, she simply did not meet the school’s particular qualifications at that time for “top ten” admittance.

Secondly, on the issue of affirmative action, I think it is important to note the evolving history of its standing. While affirmative action was, in its inception, designed to help African Americans, it was later expanded to offer support to other citizens who were discriminated against, including women. So, in essence, this plaintiff is arguing against a policy that is designed to help persons of color and women. President Lyndon Johnson made sure of it with an Executive Order in 1967.

This year’s upcoming case is sure to bring up a hotbed of topics, especially surrounding this issue of race. Before all the talking heads begin offering their opinion, I thought I’d go ahead and share my two cents.

Last modified: April 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm