Affirmative Action Term Paper

Affirmative Action Term Paper - Wharton 1 POL 313 Ackroyd...

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Wharton 1 POL 313 Ackroyd The Congress’ Role in Affirmative Action The affirmative action debate has been growing since the 1960’s when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed “discrimination in employment and education on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” (Crosby 7). Affirmative action policies are “‘designed to right the wrongs of the past’ as a quota system, or as a set of remedial programs aimed to compensate for the inadequacies of people of color or of women” (Crosby 4). The use of quotas in higher education was ruled Unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the 1978 case, University of California Board of Regents v. Bakke . Another crucial Supreme Court case in the debate over affirmative action was the 2003 Gratz v. Bollinger case, which ruled that the points system used at the University of Michigan was in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14 th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote that “because the University's use of race in its current freshman admissions policy is not narrowly tailored to achieve respondents' asserted compelling interest in diversity, the admissions policy violates the Equal Protection Clause” (US Supreme Court - Rehnquist).
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Wharton 2 POL 313 Ackroyd Ironically, the court ruled in favor of giving preference based on race in the 2003 case, Grutter v. Bollinger , because the Michigan Law School’s narrowly tailored use of race in admissions furthers the school’s compelling state interest by obtaining the educational benefits that result from having a diverse student body. An examination of both pro- and anti-affirmative action groups’ views is necessary to formulate a possible solution to the already complex issue. Proponents for affirmative action policies have three main reasons for supporting their position. The most common argument for affirmative action is the need for diversity. Those in favor of affirmative action claim that “[i]nteraction between races might conceivably result in increased understanding. This understanding… might reduce the mistrust and suspicion that result in racial conflict” (Valle - Curry 211). Likewise, in a business setting, “[d]iversity breeds the creative energy companies need to compete in a global economy. Companies that lack diversity risk stagnation as they get mired in the old ways of doing things… A company that embraces diversity will better understand this diverse world” (Rand – Curry 74). Affirmative action supporters also point to a research study done at the University of Michigan Business School
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Wharton 3 POL 313 Ackroyd which found that “ethnically diverse groups came up with more innovative solutions to an assigned problem than homogeneous groups did” (Rand – Curry 74). A need for cultural diversity is used repeatedly by those in favor of
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course POS 110 taught by Professor Lehman during the Spring '08 term at ASU.

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Affirmative Action Term Paper - Wharton 1 POL 313 Ackroyd...

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