Thursday, October 11, 2012

In Affirmative-Action Case, History of 14th Amendment Is Inconvenient

The Daily Beast
Oct 10, 2012 4:39 PM EDT

Justices Scalia and Thomas trumpet the value of constitutional originalism, but only when it suits their preferred outcome. Adam Winkler reports.

The Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday (PDF) in a potentially landmark case that could spell the end of race-based affirmative action in higher education. The case involves a challenge to the University of Texas’s admissions policy that makes race one relevant factor—along with the usual assortment of other criteria, like SAT score, grade-point average, being a legacy, and skills such as playing football or the tuba. Abigail Fisher, a white applicant who was denied admission, claims that UT’s policy violates the 14th Amendment, which guarantees the “equal protection of the laws.”

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