Affirmative Action Issues

Affirmative Action
Chapter 6, Theme C
Affirmative Action Solution
 Define
 What are the two views of the practice?
 Compensatory action (helping minorities
catch up) vs. preferential treatment (giving
minorities preference, applying quotas)
 Which does the public support & why?
 So, how do you achieve and measure
Equality of Results versus Equality of
Equality of Results
What does this mean?
 Racism & sexism can be overcome only by taking
them into account in designing remedies that
include benefits
 How does society achieve these results?
 Affirmative action― preferential hiring practices―
should be used in recruiting & hiring
 What are the goals?
 Diversity or multiculturalism
 Remedy to level the playing field for past
Equality of Opportunity
What does this mean?
 Reverse discrimination occurs when race or sex
is used as a basis for preferential treatment.
 How does society prevent this problem?
 Laws should be color blind and sex neutral
 What are the goals?
 Government should only eliminate barriers
 The most qualified and demanded applicants are
Court Battles
No clear direction in Court decisions.
Court is deeply divided & affected by ideology.
Results are conflicting & confusing.
Bakke (1978): numerical minority quotas are not
permissible, but race could be considered
Court upheld federal rule that set aside 10% of all
federal construction contracts for minority-owned
firms (1980)
In 1989, Court overturned Virginia law that set
aside 30% of construction contracts for minority
In 1990, Court upheld federal rule that gave
preference to minority-owned firms in awarding
broadcast licenses
Meaning of Standards for Quotas
Quota system subjected to strict scrutiny—must
be compelling state interest to justify quotas:
Adarand Constructors v. Pena (1995)
 Must correct an actual pattern of discrimination
 Must identify actual practices that discriminate
 Federal preferences are more likely upheld than those
by states due to 14th Amendment’s sec. 5
 Voluntary preference systems may be easier to justify
than those required by law
 Remedy must be benign and “narrowly tailored”
Several states (CA & TX) have outlawed AA
More Court Battles!
Recent examples: Discuss using CT packet
Gratz v. Bollinger (2003)―overturned UMI
admissions policy giving “bonus points” to
racial minority applicants for undergraduate
Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) upheld UMI Law
School admissions policy that used race as
a “plus factor” but not as part of a
numerical quota
 Most recent cases:
Fisher v. University of TX (2012)—Watch clip
Schuette v. Coalition for AA (2013)
Fisher II (2016)
Reactionary Quick Write:
Using the knowledge from the assignment
and today’s discussion, assess whether or
not affirmative action is still needed today:
Explain how the Supreme Court, in your opinion,
arrived at two different decisions in the Gratz and
Grutter cases.
Should affirmative action continue? In other
words, using strict scrutiny, is there any
compelling reason to consider race in
admissions? Explain your opinion.
Can affirmative action preferences ever be
justified under the 14th Amendment’s equal
protection clause? Explain your opinion.
The New Civil Rights
Movement: Gay Rights
Chapter 6, Theme D
Historical Background
Why have states historically been given
the right to legislate & regulate
homosexual activity?
Police Powers: Give examples of other laws
What type of laws have states passed to
regulate this type of behavior?
 Results?
 Bowers v. Hardwick (1986): Georgia allowed
to ban homosexual sexual activity
 Right to privacy designed to protect “family,
marriage or procreation”
Change in the Courts
How did the Supreme Court shift views?
 Romer v. Evans (1996): Colorado voters had
adopted state constitutional amendment
making it illegal to protect persons based on
gay, lesbian or bisexual orientation
1. Supreme Court struck down Colorado
2. Colorado amendment violated equal
protection clause of the 14th Amendment
More Change
How did the Griswold & Roe cases become
precedents for Gay Rights?
 Lawrence v. Texas (2003): Texas law banned
consensual sexual conduct between persons of
same sex
1. Supreme Court overturned law
2. Used same language it used in cases
above—Implied right to privacy
Gay Marriage
How did the shift in public opinion
change this issue?
Discuss 2013’s Proposition 8 results in
Hollingsworth v. Perry case.
 Discuss DOMA’s history and outcome of
2013’s U.S. v. Windsor case.
 Discuss the challenge and outcome of
this year’s Obergefell v. Hodges case.
 Preview tomorrow’s debates and the