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Kept Promises? Grutter & Diversity

April 12th, 2012 No comments

Written by: Stephen Mahan

When the Grutter decision upheld affirmative action at the University of Michigan Law School, many commentators hailed it as a step forward in race-relations.  Our own law school, Widener, has taken steps to further encourage and foster diversity within its halls, in the hopes of obtaining those educational benefits associated with diversity, by appointing its own “Multicultural Affairs Officer.”  (Link to announcement.)  Meera E. Deo, of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law has recently written on Grutter’s actual effects on race-relations in the law school classroom.  See Meera E. Deo, The Promise of Grutter: Diverse Interactions at the University of Michigan Law School, 17 Mich. J. Race & L. 63 (2011).  (Link to article.)  But a different type of survey might better reveal how race-relations in the legal profession have advanced since Grutter – a survey of more recent minority graduates and their experiences in the job hunt.  It has been some years since Justice Clarence Thomas graduated, when “Yale meant one thing for white graduates and another for blacks, no matter how much anyone denied it.”  Clarence Thomas, My Grandfather’s Son 99 (2007) quoted in Jeffrey Toobin, The Thomases vs. Obama’s Health Care Plan, The New Yorker, August 29, 2011.  (Link to article.)  But, to borrow a phrase from Justice Thomas, has the “taint of racial preference” – that “You only got into U of M because you’re a minority” – yet dissipated?

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.

 

Congratulations to the New 2012-2013 Editorial Board!

April 6th, 2012 No comments

The Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race is pleased to announce the new editorial board for the 2012-2013 academic year.  The incoming elected board members are as follows:

Peter A. Galick – Co-Editor-in-Chief (DE)

Vacant – Co-Editor-in-Chief (HSB)

Scott F. Frame – Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Jade Morrison – External Managing Editor

Megan A. Hunsicker – Internal Managing Editor

Kevin P. Diduch – Research & Bluebook Editor

Staci J. Pesin – Senior Managing Editor

Sara Horatius – Web & Technology Editor

The current 2011-2012 board members would like to send their congratulations and best wishes to the new board and next year’s staff!

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Case on the Use of Affirmative Action in the College Admissions Process

March 12th, 2012 No comments

Written by:  Brandi C. Everett

On February 21, 2012, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case involving the use of affirmative action in the college admissions process.  The case, Fisher v. Texas, No. 11-345, began when a white woman sued the University of Texas after being denied admission allegedly because of her race.  The Fisher case brings the issue of affirmative action in the college admissions process back in front of the Supreme Court after their 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger.  The Grutter decision allowed colleges to take race into account when making admissions decisions.

The issue of affirmative action is highly debated, with many people having a wide range of opinions on the matter.  While opinions may differ. . . one thing is clear:  in the states that have chosen not to consider race when admitting students there are a lower number of minority students who are accepted into those states’ public universities (click on the link to the New York Times article provided below for a list of such states).  One may argue that minority students would be admitted to those institutions if they performed better academically.  This may be true, however, minority students are faced with economic disadvantages (including the unavailability of quality education) that a lot of their white counterparts are fortunate enough to not have to deal with.  Affirmative action simply levels the playing field for minority students.  The reality is that affirmative action is the only way diversity can be achieved in many colleges. Not allowing colleges to take race into consideration could do more harm than good for minority students and for the college experience as a whole.

For more about Fisher v. Texas, No. 11-345, please follow the links below:

http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/fisher-v-university-of-texas-at-austin/

http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/11-345.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/22/us/justices-to-hear-case-on-affirmative-action-in-higher-education.html?ref=education

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/21/10466979-affirmative-action-in-college-admissions-supreme-court-to-hear-case

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.