Race-Based Affirmative Action and International Law

20 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2014

See all articles by Jordan J. Paust

Jordan J. Paust

University of Houston Law Center

Date Written: 1997


This essay identifies the propriety of affirmative action under treaty law of the United States and why treaty-based permissibility must prevail under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution against inconsistent state law. Treaty-based permissibility also provides a compelling state interest and a superior federal policy that must prevail absent direct impermissibility of affirmative action under the U.S. Constitution. The essay also notes that equality is a process in which we all participate and that one should focus on the need for a shared and equal protection of each of us from ongoing processes of discrimination.

Keywords: affirmative action, compelling, Constitution, differentiation, discrimination, equality, equal protection, human dignity, human right, ICCPR, international law, preemption, process, race, racial, special measures, state law, supremacy, supreme law, treaty

Suggested Citation

Paust, Jordan J., Race-Based Affirmative Action and International Law (1997). 18 Michigan Journal of International Law 659 (1997), U of Houston Law Center No. 2014-A-32, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2448416

Jordan J. Paust (Contact Author)

University of Houston Law Center ( email )

4604 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77204-6060
United States

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