‘Affirmative Action’ In Law: The Four-Letter Phrase

Business Professionals“If I told you that a flower bloomed in a dark room, would you trust it?”

Kendrick Lamar

How come law professors avoid speaking about affirmative action? Are law professors banned from discussing these type of issues? Did Randall Kennedy corner the market on this policy? How come we as a society can’t civilly debate the merits of affirmative action? The 2007 plurality opinion in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 (aka the PICS case) has influenced and will continue to influence desegregation/integration efforts of schools. However, it may be Chief Justice Roberts’s famous quip that could keep PICS and its repercussions at the forefront of many peoples’ minds. I wonder if Roberts regrets stating, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” Ironically, Justice Thomas added in a concurring opinion that “if our history has taught us anything, it has taught us to beware of elites bearing racial theories.”

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