Tag: Affirmative Action

The “I Am Spartacus” Moment

The Senate Judiciary Committee has been questioning Donald Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh of District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, for three days. The Democrats on the committee have justifiably complained about the vast number of documents pertaining to the nominee’s opinions that have either been arbitrarily declared confidential by the …

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Supreme Court To Revisit Affirmative Action

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Affirmative Action has been around since 1961 when President John F. Kennedy issued his executive order which created the Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity and mandates that projects financed with federal funds take affirmative action” to ensure that hiring and employment practices are free of racial bias. In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act which prohibits discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin. Since then Affirmative Action has gone through the courts where it has been narrowed but essentially left intact. The last major challenge to the University of Michigan’s Affirmative Action admissions policy (Grutter v. Bollinger) resulted in the Supreme Court in a narrow 5 – 4 ruling up held the University’s policy.

Challenges didn’t end there. In January of 2011, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled against a student who challenged the University of Texas’ policy in Fisher v. University of Texas (pdf). The plaintiffs appealed and the Supreme Court has decided to reconsider what has been considered decided law (stare decisis). In Grutter v. Bollinger the deciding vote was cast by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor who has since retired and was replaced by the very conservative Samuel Alito. Justice Elena Kagan, who was solicitor general when the Obama administration filed the Fifth Circuit brief, recused herself from the case. So the case will be considered by only 8 Justices, 4 of whom are very conservative. The deciding vote may fall to Justice Anthony Kennedy who has sided with the more conservative justices in recent rulings.

George Washington University law professor, Jonathan Turley joined Keith Olbermann on Countdown to discuss what might happen when the U.S. Supreme Court reconsiders the legality of affirmative action: