Is Affirmative Action in Higher Education Outdated?

783 Words3 Pages
Is Affirmative Action in Higher Education Outdated? Affirmative action policies have been in place since 1957 (Rubio 144). Presidents Kennedy and Johnson signed executive orders in 1961 and 1964, respectively, requiring government agencies and their contractors to take 'affirmative' steps to ensure minority participation. Johnson's order was modified two years later to include women. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discriminatory hiring, promotion, and retention practices in both the private and public sectors, and established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In the years since, interpretations of these laws by the U.S. Supreme Court has defined how affirmative action policies are to be implemented. The Court has held that affirmative action policies are Constitutional wherever it can be shown that ""¦ there has been a clear history of racial discrimination" (United Press International). In 1978, the Court ruling in Regents of University of California v. Bakke defined the concept of 'reverse discrimination' by holding that slots for medical school admissions could not be set aside for minorities, because it could result in admitting less qualified candidates based on racial quotas. In 2003, in Gratz v. Bollinger, the Court defined the concept of 'individualized consideration' when it declared that an undergraduate affirmative action policy at the University of Michigan was unconstitutional because it focused on the race of applicants rather than their
Open Document