Liberals Should Lose This Affirmative Action Case

Our fairness problem is more about class, not race: Emily Bazelon

By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 15, 2013 12:03 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Supreme Court has another high-profile affirmative action case on the docket this year, and it likely won't fare well with the court's conservative majority. But liberals shouldn't fret, writes Emily Bazelon at Slate, because this is actually the right decision in the march toward equal-opportunity education. "The current huge fairness problem in university admissions isn’t race-based," she argues. "It’s class-based." This year's case, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, is about whether states have the right to ban schools from using affirmative action policies.

Ten states have such a ban, and it is at schools in those states "where the most interesting socioeconomic alternatives are unfolding," writes Bazelon. "The Supreme Court won’t stand in the way of those experiments. And it shouldn’t." What the court should do, however, is encourage all states to get more poor kids into higher education, no matter their color. "That's the fairness we need most." Click for her full column. (For a dissenting view on how the court should decide in the upcoming case, click for a New York Times editorial.)

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