Affirmative Action: Promoting Diversity or Racial Discrimination?

April 7th, 2010, by

In March, the Obama administration threw its weight behind the University of Texas at Austin in a high-profile affirmative action case in which the university’s “race-conscious” admissions policies were challenged by two white students who were denied admission to the school.

The Obama administration argued in a brief filed with the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals:

In the view of the United States, the University’s limited use of race in its admissions program falls within the constitutional bounds delineated by the Supreme Court in Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003).

The University’s effort to promote diversity is a paramount government objective. See Grutter, 539 U.S. at 330-331. In view of the importance of diversity in educational institutions, the United States, through the Departments of Education and Justice, supports the efforts of school systems and post-secondary educational institutions that wish to develop admissions policies that endeavor to achieve the educational benefits of diversity in accordance with Grutter.

The losing side in the pending case will likely take the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court.

What do you think? Are admissions policies that include considerations of race and ethnicity a form of discrimination or simply a method for achieving much-needed diversity in education?

Share your thoughts with us and they may be used in an upcoming video blog.

Last modified: April 26, 2011 at 11:17 am