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Rethinking Affirmative Action?

This article is more than 5 years old.

With guest host Jane Clayson.

Affirmative action and the Trump administration. Talk of discrimination against Asian Americans, White Americans.

Is it time to reconsider college admissions? (Pixabay)
Is it time to reconsider college admissions? (Pixabay)

The Justice Department is taking a hard look at affirmative action, preparing to investigate, even sue, colleges over race-based admission. That’s according to the New York Times. Harvard is being sued by Asian-Americans who say they’ve been boxed out because of their race. The Supreme Court recently upheld affirmative action. But with a new administration could things be changing? This hour On Point: Is Affirmative Action on the chopping block? -- Jane Clayson


Anemona Hartocollis, national correspondent covering higher education for the New York Times. (@anemonanyc)

Stuart Taylor, co-author of "Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won't Admit It." Contributing editor for the National Journal. (@staylor5448)

Nancy Leong, law professor at the University of Denver. (@nancyleong)

From The Reading List

New York Times: Affirmative Action Battle Has a New Focus: Asian-Americans — "The case, which is clearly aimed for the Supreme Court, puts Asian-Americans front and center in the latest stage of the affirmative action debate. The issue is whether there has been discrimination against Asian-Americans in the name of creating a diverse student body. The Justice Department, which has signaled that it is looking to investigate 'intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions,' may well focus on Harvard."

Washington Post: Don’t use Asian Americans to justify anti-affirmative action politics — "Legal precedent, extensive research and experience support the idea that affirmative action has benefits for all students, including Asian American students. The Supreme Court has accepted since 1978, and reaffirmed just last year, that race-conscious admissions policies comply with the Constitution when they promote diversity and include a holistic evaluation of all students. Research supports this view, finding that diverse learning environments improve learning, increase interracial understanding and better prepare students for careers in a diverse society."

Weekly Standard: The Justice Department Is Rethinking Affirmative Action—That's a Good Thing — "All of this is heartening news, for it reveals a Justice Department unwilling to ignore the racial discrimination in admissions that takes place in many elite schools, which have more applicants than seats. One benefit of the endeavor could be the advance of colorblind law, the only kind that makes sense in a multi-racial nation like ours."

This program aired on August 7, 2017.


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