Affirmative Action and the First Amendment's Single Minority of One
6 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2012 Last revised: 13 Jan 2012
Date Written: 2011
The First Amendment respects the dignity and autonomy of the individual by ensuring the availability of an expressive forum for the “minority of one.” Yet under our Equal Protection jurisprudence, we permit the government to aggregate individuals into collectives on the basis of immutable characteristics and subject them to group-oriented policies that may offend and disrespect their individual sense of dignity and self-worth. This piece explores the relationship between (and the appropriateness of) the latter in light of the former.
Keywords: affirmative action, colorblind, equal protection, Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Bd. of Education, Snyder v. Phelps, double minorities, dignity
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