The Pros And Cons Of Affirmative Action

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In 2008, a young caucasian woman named Abigail Fisher applied to the University of Texas at Austin. When she was denied admission, ostensibly because the school used her race as a factor in its admissions decision, she filed suit against the University of Texas for violating her rights under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. By doing so, she entered into an ongoing fierce debate over affirmative action policies. This debate was, unsurprisingly, not resolved by her suit and, in fact, her case again currently sits in front of the Court as of the writing of this paper.
Fisher’s case has brought renewed national attention to the use of affirmative action in university admission practices, and there
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When affirmative action is discussed in the context of higher education, it usually refers to controversial policies to increase the number of minority students admitted to the institution. These affirmative action policies to increase the numbers of minority students have taken a number of different forms. Some like the University of California Board of Regents, whose program was evaluated in the landmark Bakke v. University of California Board of Regents case, created special admissions programs that evaluated minority students separately from white students, and which had a certain number of openings for minority students. Other universities, like the University of Texas system that is currently being contested in the Fisher case, attempted to make race-neutral policies that still sought to increase the number of minority students. This program granted admission the top 10 percent of every high school’s graduating …show more content…
This debate is often depicted as being a two-sided conflict, with both sides claiming that their civil rights are violated. Those who favor race-conscious university admissions policies tend to base their arguments around injustice; they often point to the stark racial inequalities that exist in the United States and argue that affirmative action is the best way to deal with historic and present racial discrimination. The anti- affirmative action contingency often frames the debate as an issue of fairness; they believe that all admissions policies should be race-blind, and that any use of race is a violation of a citizen’s civil rights. They believe that policies which privilege minority students over other, sometimes more qualified applicants, are fundamentally

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