RE: Dismantling of the Affirmative Action within the University of California was appropriate.
Statement of Facts
The passing of the Resolutions SP-1 and SP-2 by the University of California board in 1995 marked the end to the use of race and gender as criteria for student admission at the college. In 1996, the state of California also passed the California Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI) popularly known as the Proposition 209 that banned all ethnic, cultural and gender-based penchants in education admissions and opportunities. Affirmative action was intended to bridge the gap between the best universities in the country that largely remain comprised of whites than other races. However, those opposing use of affirmative action in the university admission perceives that use of racial and gender considerations are inappropriate since they exclude qualified individuals admission opportunities in universities. However, those supporting the affirmative action perceive that it increases opportunities for those who would otherwise be overlooked or even excluded from active consideration. Despite the dismantling of the affirmative action, discrimination remains rampant in University admission and consideration of race would be an important responsibility for any civilized society. Additionally, the supporters of the affirmative action posit that it should be promoted since it supports students from conventionally lessened groups a chance to get access to schooling and equal occasions. Historical reliance on merit had given the white students more opportunities in the universities despite the underprivileged minority experiencing a lot of historical inequalities that disadvantaged their academic achievements. Use of merit led to overrepresentation of the whites in the student body. However, the affirmative action helped to bring diversity in the student body by devising selection criteria that support the inclusion of the underrepresented races in the student body. In the run-up to the dismantling of the affirmative action, it was it was perceived that academic excellence was being compromised through policies that were instituted with a view of achieving diversity. However, those supporting affirmative action are of the few that marks and tallies should not be the sole principles for determining university admittances. After the affirmation act was eliminated in 1998, the number of African Americans admitted to Universities in California declined from 30% to 13% while that of the Hispanics dropped by 30-50%. The decline represents a significant blow to the prospects of the minority groups joining the elite Universities in the U.S. It will possibly kill diversity in the elite university student bodies and professions.
The question presented in this case is whether the dismantling of affirmative action within the college was appropriate. Affirmative action was dismantled when minority underrepresentation in elite universities was still rampant. Additionally, there was a need to compensate for the historical inequalities that minority races such as African Americans and Hispanics had suffered historically both academically and socially. Moreover, there was a need to promote a diverse academic body in the university by promoting educational opportunities for underrepresented minorities. However, affirmative action is accused of denying and excluding qualified races from admission opportunities in the elite universities. Additionally, it is accused of compromising academic achievement through admittance of students with limited academic achievement to promote diversity in higher learning institutions. This begs the question of whether the dismantling of the affirmative action in the university was appropriate or inappropriate in the face of increased historical inequalities and discrimination that the minority races have suffered and continued to experience.
Yes. Dismantling the assenting action in the University of California was appropriate since it was founded on a racial proportion system that used race as the sole factor to determine admission. Affirmative action acted as contrary discernment against the majority of whites by denying them equal admissions opportunities at the expense of minorities with minimal qualifications. Affirmative action played a critical role in supporting diversity in the institution by promoting access to academic opportunities for minority groups that had historically been denied equal admission opportunities to elite universities as compared to their white majority counterparts. However, use of race as criteria for admission amounts to racial discrimination which violates the American constitution. Therefore, its dismantling would promote equal access to academic opportunities for all races and prevent racial animosity through unequal representation in universities.
Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
Equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment provides all individuals in the state must be treated in the same manner as others in the light of similar conditions and circumstances. However, under the clause, permissible discrimination is allowed, but this type of discrimination provide concrete, rational basis to justify the difference in treatment. Briefly, the clause prohibits disparate treatment unless there is a compelling interest to support disparate treatment.
Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972
Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 requires that university and colleges must provide equal chances for both males and females in all aspects of education. Course offerings are one of the education aspect highlighted by the clause hence any form of discrimination in academic admission violates the clause. Other aspects of education include student health insurance benefits, employment, financial assistance and sporting chances.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 relates to discernment in the federally-aided education programs. The Title VI provides that race, colour and national origin should not be used as the basis for discriminating students during admissions in education programs that are federally-assisted. Sec. 601 of the Title VI offers that every individual in the United States shall not under the background of race, colour or state origin be denied contribution in education program receiving Federal Financial assistance.
Based on the permissible discrimination as provided in the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the use of affirmative action can be justified since there is a concrete, rational basis for its application. Use of affirmative action is permissible as it promotes diversity in the student body and helps to remedy historical discrimination that the minority races had suffered in access to academic admission in elite universities. Therefore, dismantling of the affirmative action will kill the student body diversity and deny the disadvantaged minority access to academic opportunities.
Limited and highly envied positions in elite colleges have made competition for admission to the most prestigious more rivalries than ever. Rejection from these prestigious colleges is painful not only to students but also to their parents. It is even more painful when a well-qualified student is denied entry to the elite college through the affirmative action. The affirmative action was primarily used to remedy historical discrimination that had denied certain minority groups access to admission opportunities in the elite universities. However, the application of the affirmative action created an impression that the white students were unjustly barred from colleges. Exclusion of the white applicants from admissions opportunities in the elite universities is one of the factors that contributed greatly to the dismantling of the affirmative action in the University of California. Race-and ethnicity-targeted admission policies were central to the affirmative action making the probability of the prototypical white applicants virtually negligible. Consequently, the dismantling of the affirmative action increased the probability of white applicant’s admission at the expense of the disadvantaged minority. Despite the dismantling of the affirmative action, the opportunities for majority whites exceeded those of the other races significantly. The whites were dominant in every profession and occupation that is accorded high status except in sports.
The dismantling of the affirmative action was appropriate at California University for the sole reason that admission was based on racial quotas thus discriminating the majority white race. Use of racial quotas was intended to provide the races that had suffered historical injustices in admission to elite universities access to admission opportunities to promote diversity in the apprentice organization. However, search for diversity in the student body should not be achieved through strategies that promote the desecration of the Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. It is true that dismantling of the affirmative undermined aids that result from a varied scholar organization. Diversity in the student body is associated with high level cognitive and effective development. Students who interact more with other students from diverse backgrounds are impacted positively in most of the measures of academic development and achievements. However, the use of an affirmative action that excludes qualified students from pursuing their desires in elite Universities amounts to a violation of the constitution.
Considering admission criteria that boost chances for the under-represented minorities is a critical thing to consider in the American society. However, race should not be used as a form of exclusion to deny certain races to admission opportunities. In the Bakke v University of California Board of Regents, 438 U.S. 265 (1978) the court lined that strict use of racial quotas in the University’s admittance program was illegal since it denied qualified candidates a chance to join the university on the ground of race. However, the judges in the case commented that adoption of admission criteria that intends to promote diversity in the student body is appropriate but should not be based on racial quotas. Use of race as a basis for determining admission in the elite University is against the Fourteenth Amendment requires that an individual should be treated as another in similar circumstances and conditions. It is also against the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to use race as the basis for determining admission. Therefore, it is important to use alternative admission criteria that holistic factor evaluation of the applicants rather uses of the racial quotas as witnessed in the case of the University of California.
Use of race as a basis for determining admission in the University of California was against the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment that necessitates that an individual should be treated as another in similar circumstances and conditions. It is also against the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to use race as the basis for determining admission. Therefore, it is important to use alternative admission criteria that foster diversity without discriminating on certain individuals due to their race. However, the Fourteenth Amendment supports permissible discrimination provided that there is a concrete, rational basis to justify the disparate treatment. In Fisher V. University of Texas at Austin, 597 U.S. (2016),Fisher sued the University of Texas being denied based on admission criteria that were racially based. In her claim, Fisher posited that she had a higher qualification than most of the students from other races, but she was disadvantaged by her race. However, the justice system apprehended that the University of Texas was justified to use race-conscious admission criteria since it supported the development of enlightening welfares that accrue from a varied apprentice body. Additionally, the court seized that use of race-cognizant admission principles is justifiable under the Equal Protection Right of the Fourteenth Amendment given that it is intended to promote cross-racial understanding, end stereotypes and prepare students to work in a diverse environment. Similarly, in In Grutter V. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003) the Federal Court apprehended that use of race in the admission policy is does not disrupt the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as far as the policy is intended to promote positive educational benefits by ensuring a varied student body. In the same case, the court commented that an affirmative action based admission program should consider a holistic process for evaluation of applicants as opposed to the racial quota system that the University of California used.
The only mistake with a holistic evaluation is when it is narrowly tailored to make a factor of the race to become decisive in admitting a student to the institution. In Gratz V. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003) the court seized that the admission in University of Michigan that automatically gave underrepresented students one-fifth of the obligatory points was tailored to make the race a determining factor of admission and was not intended to promote instructive assistances that emerge from a various scholar organization. It was found that the University of Michigan Law School admission process allowed minimally qualified minority applicants get outright admission at the expense of students from other races that were highly qualified. However, in the same case, the court commented that variety is a convincing state interest to justify deliberation of race, but the admission policies should not narrowly be tailored to make the race a determining factor in the admission program.
Therefore, an affirmative action that is solely tailored to make race the sole determining factor in the admission process is unconstitutional. Most of the case laws indicate that promotion of diversity in the Universities is an issue of compelling state interest. However, diversity should only be promoted in a way that does not make race the sole determining factor. A holistic approach that considers a wide range of factors including score, socioeconomic background of the student, interpersonal skills and a wide range of others is critical. In the Grutter v. Bollinger (02-241) 539 U.S. 306 (2003), the court held that the admission program used the Michigan University School of Law did not disrupt the Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment since it promoted the creation of a serious mass of marginal scholars in the university. The court held that there is convincing state attention in using racial affirmative action to promote a critical mass of minorities in University. Promotion of diversity was a critical factor that the court used to uphold that the admission program at Michigan University School of Law. However, the court commented that an admission program that is based on racial quotas is unconstitutional since it uses race as the only factor for promoting diversity. While the University of California racial quota admission program was intended to promote diversity, it was laced with significant racial discrimination which is against the constitution. Discernment on the foundation of race and state-providing teaching is no exclusion.
In Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, 572 U.S. (2014) case questioned whether a state disrupts the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by proscription race- and sex-grounded discernment on community college admittances in a state. The Supreme Court apprehended that the court seized that it was lawful for a state to ban admission policies based on race and ethnicity since classification of people based on race perpetuates same racism policies that the constitution sought to alleviate. The Supreme Court also ruled that it was not its role to disempower decision of voters in a state to make a decision regarding the ban of the race-based preferences in the University Admission. Therefore, when inferring from this case, it is justifiable to say that it was right for the University of Michigan to dismantle use of race-based penchants in the student selection process. Use of race as the sole factor for promoting diversity in the University Student Body is insufficient and unconstitutional in since it disadvantage one race at the expense of another and it perpetuates racism.
The University of California admission program was based on racial quotas that gave minority groups preferences in access to admission opportunities at the expense of other races. It was appropriate to dismantle this admission program since it perpetuated racism and made other races disadvantaged in access to education opportunities. The racial quota system was against the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that forbids any form of discernment that is founded on race. While it is important to promote variety in the University scholar body, the admission policies should not blatantly use race as the sole determining factor. Most of the case laws relating to the use of affirmative action in the admission policies have indicated that use of a holistic evaluation criterion that considers a wide range of other factors in addition to race is important in supporting a diverse body of a student in the Universities. The holistic evaluation drifts from making race the only determining factor in the achievement of diversity. Racial quota system used at the University of California denied highly qualified students a chance to be acknowledged in the University for the reason of race. With time, the racial quota would have made more and more students become disadvantaged at the expense of others hence it was important to dismantle race-based preferences in the admission policies.
Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972.
Bakke v University of California Board of Regents, 438 U.S. 265 (1978)
Fisher V. University of Texas at Austin, 597 U.S. (2016),
Gratz V. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003)
Grutter V. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003)
Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, 572 U.S. (2014)