Opinion: Affirmative action might be harming its beneficiaries

The U.S. Supreme Court will be ruling on Fisher v. University of Texas this term:
What's more important to how your life turns out: the prestige of the school you attend or how much you learn while you’re there? Does the answer to this question change if you are the recipient of affirmative action?

From school admissions to hiring, affirmative action policies attempt to compensate for this country’s brutal history of racial discrimination by giving some minority applicants a leg up. This spring the Supreme Court will decide the latest affirmative action case, weighing in on the issue for the first time in 10 years.

The last time around, in 2003, the court upheld the University of Michigan Law School’s affirmative action plan. A divided court ruled, 5 to 4, that “student body diversity is a compelling state interest that can justify the use of race in university admissions.” Writing for the majority, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said, “We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.”

Get the Story:
Dan Slater: Does Affirmative Action Do What It Should? (The New York Times 3/17)

Related Stories:
Opinion: Supreme Court shifts to the right on affirmative action (3/11)

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