Tag: Affirmative Action

Taking Offense at Every Word or Phrase? »

A recent news item suggests that if offense possibly can be taken, it will be taken. We have just been treated to studied outrage at the nicknames of the NFL’s Washington “Redskins”, Florida State University’s “Seminoles” and MLB’s Cleveland “Indians.” As my friend and colleague Randy Holcombe reminds us in a recent blog, the...
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Classifying America: Government’s Power to Define Is the Power to Discriminate »

In one of the most famous phrases uttered by a Supreme Court justice, Potter Stewart defended his ruling in an obscenity case (1964) by refusing to offer a clear definition. Instead, he stated: “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could...
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50 Years of Mischief: The Triumph and Trashing of the Civil Rights Act »

The Civil Rights Act was not a perfect law—no law is perfect–but it did embody two principles of the long civil rights movement: First, the individual (not the group) is the measure of justice. Secondly, nondiscrimination is mandatory for the government and worth pursuing in our private lives. If policymakers had enforced the Civil Rights Act in good faith, time might have eroded the tendency to view others as members of a group, rather than as individuals.

Is “Redskins” Offensive? »

Controversy over the nickname of the NFL’s Washington Redskins has been swirling for nearly a year. Today, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it had withdrawn governmental protection for exclusive use of that name, meaning ironically that anyone (an individual or business enterprise) henceforth can call itself the “Washington Redskins”....
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Race-Based Admissions: Critical Mass Standard Is a Massive Mess in Texas »

When is a quota not a quota? That seems to be the burning question in the latest Supreme Court case on race-based college admissions. It’s also a problem of the Court’s own making. Twenty-two year old Abigail Fisher claims she was denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin because she is white....
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