Rodrigo's Tenth Chronicle: Merit and Affirmative Action
Seattle University School of Law
Georgetown Law Journal, Vol. 83, 1995
Seattle University School of Law Research Paper
Opponents of affirmative action and similar redistributive measures often argue that they proceed in defiance of the merit principle--the idea that scarce resources, such as places in a law school class, ought to go to those who most deserve them. Since affirmative action's beneficiaries (usually minorities from poor backgrounds) often lack traditional indicators of merit, such as top grades and test scores, it is said, giving them an edge in the competition for law slots violates the merit principle.
This chronicle subjects this argument to critical analysis, examining the history and current functioning of conventional merit and noting a number of drawbacks associated with it.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: merit, affirmative action, civil rights, critical race theory, narrative jurisprudence, redistributive justice, equalityAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 27, 2012
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