Ilya Somin on Asian-Americans and Affirmative Action

June 2nd, 2012

The glaring inconsistencies in Texas’ affirmative action policy and others like it suggest that many universities are either operating an ethnic spoils system, trying to run a compensatory justice program under the guise of promoting diversity (while ignoring Chinese and Japanese-Americans’ powerful claims for compensation) in order to avoid running afoul of Supreme Court precedent, or some of both.

To avoid misunderstanding, I should reiterate that I have some sympathy for the compensatory justice rationale for affirmative action, and do not believe that such policies are categorically unconstitutional. I also have significant reservations about the Fisher case in particular. My general position is the exact opposite of current Supreme Court precedent, which holds that racial preferences can be used to promote “diversity” but not compensatory justice for minority groups that have been the victims of massive “societal” discrimination.

Ilya discusses a CHE piece.