Against Affirmative Action Contrary to


For example, a CNN/USA Today poll of July 1995 gave respondents three options on affirmative action. Sixty-one % voted for the "need to reform"; 22% opined that affirmative action "needs to be eliminated" and only 8% favored the "status quo." (Galston)

5. Legal support for Affirmative Action has also diminished in recent years.

a. In the 1970s, Allan Bakke, a white male, had been rejected two years in a row by a medical school that had accepted less qualified minority applicants due to a separate admissions policy for minorities. In its 1978 ruling, the Supreme Court outlawed inflexible quota systems in affirmative action programs. (Brunner) b. The Adarand v. Pena (1995) ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court held that an affirmative action program would have to pass a "strict" and "detailed" judicial inquiry of all race based actions and such programs must serve a "compelling" interest and must be "narrowly tailored." The ruling over-ruled previous decisions of the Supreme Court that had recommended "intermediate scrutiny" as the standard of review for "benign" federal racial classifications. ("The U.S. Department of Justice -- Memorandum to General Counsels")

According to most legal experts, the ruling means that objectives such as "diversity" and "inclusion" or addressing "societal discrimination" do not constitute a "compelling" reason. It also means that even when a "compelling" reason is found, race-based methods can only be used only after race-neutral methods have been considered and found inadequate and such race-based methods are applied only to the extent needed to remedy a specific discrimination. (Galston; Eastland) The Supreme Court has thus recognized that Affirmative Action programs must only be used sparingly and only where specific evidence of previous discrimination exists.

Perhaps the most important argument against Affirmative Action "preference" programs is Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that states: "no person shall on the ground of race, color, or national origin be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." (Quoted by Eastland)

Works Cited

Brunner, Borgna. "Bakke and Beyond -- A History and Timeline of Affirmative Action." 2002-2003. June 20, 2003.

Eastland, Terry. "Michigan's Supreme Problem." Dallas Morning News. December 9, 2003. Appear Online in The Weekly Standard. June 20, 2003.

Galston, William A. "The Affirmative Action Debate." Wall Street Journal (August 2, 1995).

Montgomery, Alicia. "A Poison Divides Us." 2003. June 20, 2003.

O'Sullivan, John. "Preferred Future. -- Will Diversity Become America's New Civic Religion." January 28, 2002. National Review Online. June 21, 2003.

U.S. Department of Justice-Memorandum to General Counsels" -- Report to the President. Affirmative Action Review. 2003. Welcome to the White House Web site.

Williams, Walter E. "Affirmative Action Can't Be Mended." Cato Journal, Vol. 17, No. 1 (SpringSummer 1997). June 21, 2003.

Out of the 317 black students admitted to UC Berkeley in 1985, ALL were admitted under affirmative action criteria rather than academic qualifications. They had an average SAT score of 952 compared to the UC Berkeley's average of 1200. More than 70% of the black students failed to graduate. (Sowell, quoted by Williams)

Despite the commendable "moral" opposition to such preferences by many blacks and Latino-Americans.

Affirmative Action