Affirmative Action, Selective Memory Loss, and the Mistakes of Adarand
7 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2009
Date Written: 1995
The writer argues that affirmative action is necessary and essential in order to create a society that truly affords equal opportunity to all. Obstacles to this goal are outlined beginning in the Reconstruction era, and where a number of subsequent decisions by the Supreme Court seem to show a retreat from the intent of statutes calling for equal treatment. Particularly noted is the much more recent case of Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena. The author points out that many decisions which go backwards in this area are the result of justices being forgetful of the first case to construe the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the 1873 Slaughter House Cases.
Keywords: Supreme Court, affirmative action, racial discrimination, gender discrimination, Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, selective memory loss, Fifth Amendment, Due Process Clause, Fourteenth Amendment, Equal Protection Clause
JEL Classification: K19, K29, K39, K49, J71, J78
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation