2008 Fall Critical Thinking Research Topic: Affirmative Action

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Please add findings below following the template on the Fall 2008 Critical Thinking Research Topics page.

Group members should also work to keep the page well organized. -Alfino



Affirmative Action Programs Promote Justice for African Americans

Link Rohrbach Perry, E.A. "Affirmative Action Programs Promote Justice for African Americans." Opposing Viewpoints: Social Justice. Ed. William Dudley. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. INLAN - Gonzaga University Library. 11 Nov. 2008 <http://find.galegroup.com/ovrc/infomark.do?&contentSet=GSRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T010&prodId=OVRC&docId=EJ3010397214&source=gale&srcprod=OVRC&userGroupName=gonzagaufoley&version=1.0>.

Summary/Reconstruction This article is more background information about how the concept of affirmative action came about. It shows what Lyndon B. Johnson thought about affirmative action and that he claimed it provided justice for African Americans from the past treatment.


The Origin of Affirmative Action

Citation Sykes, Marquita. "The Origins of Affirmative Action." National Organization for Women. August 1995. National Organization for Women. 11 November 2008 <http://www.now.org/nnt/08-95/affirmhs.html>.

Summary This website gives an overview of what helps to make up the basis of Affirmative Action. The thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments of the Constitution. It deals with the Plessy vs. Ferguson trial. The trial of Brown vs. Board of Education. Affirmative Action was first introduced in John F. Kennedy's Executive order 10925 speech. Acts passed in support of Affirmative Action included the 1964 Civil rights act and the 1965 voters right act. It also briefly includes a section of why people are against it. The source of publication came from the National Organization of Women.'


Affirmative action


Reconstruction Great source for all sorts of information. It has all major court cases and talks about each in great detail. It also talks about the history of Affirmative Action. It has a great timeline for cases and diffrent things that affect affirmative action.


Court Cases

From Bakke to Grutter: Rearticulating Diversity and Affirmative Action in Higher Education

Finding and Link Kim, Joon K. "From Bakke to Grutter: Rearticulating Diversity and Affirmative Action in Higher Education." Multicultural Perspectives 7.2 (Apr. 2005): 12-19. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. [Library name], [City], [State abbreviation]. 20 Nov. 2008 <http://proxy.foley.gonzaga.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=16967732&site=ehost-live>.

Summary In the first U.S. Supreme Court case concerning affirmative action in higher education (Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 1978), the splintered court decided that racial diversity serves a compelling state interest, allowing public institutions to count race as one of many diversity factors for admission. Due to the illusive criteria by which Justice Powell opined the racial diversity rationale, various states challenged the Bakke precedent and eliminated affirmative action policies. In this article, the author examine 3 states-California, Texas, and Florida-that uniquely responded to the state of disarray that the Bakke decision created, and assesses the contradictions of replacing affirmative action with alternative programs that appeal to notions of meritocracy, equal opportunity, and diversity. Finally, he points out inconsistencies in the second U.S. Supreme Court decision, in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), particularly as it develops a weak rationale for allowing the University of Michigan Law School to achieve diversity through a critical mass of minority students.

Jeremy Lazzara

The Incongruities of Grutter

Finding and Link Caldas, Stephen. "The Incongruities of Grutter." Society 45.1 (Jan. 2008): 30-34. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. [Library name], [City], [State abbreviation]. 20 Nov. 2008 <http://proxy.foley.gonzaga.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=28526535&site=ehost-live>.

Summary This article scrutinizes the inconsistencies in the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger Supreme Court decision which upheld the University of Michigan’s law school affirmative action policy. The decision, which now governs university admissions policies in all 50 states, ruled that “diversity” remains a compelling state interest that legally justifies discriminating between individuals on the basis of their race in determining college admissions. This article examines two incongruous justifications offered by the Grutter court in justification for their ruling: the “critical mass” justification and the no “undo harm” argument. Neither rationale is able to withstand careful, logical examination.(

Jeremy Lazzara

Affirmative Action in College Admission

Citation York, Grace. "Affirmative Action in College Admissions Gratz and Hamacher/ Grutter v. The Regents of the University of Michigan." The University of Michigan Documents Center. 12 February. 2003. The Regents of the University of Michgan. 9 November 2008 <http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/affirm.html#summary>.

Summary This website deals with the law suit that the University of Michigan was faced with dealing with the undergraduate acceptance process. It covers the entire lawsuit, the defendants, the plaintiff, it gives the University of Michigan's acceptance process and standards. Also, it shows the news coverage that was going on during the time of the trial. Also, a helpful tip that I found was it gave examples and sites of other law suits that were similar to this law suit. This site came form the University of Michigan's website.---


Plessy vs. Ferguson: Equality

Link "Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)." Infoplease. ©2005 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Prentice Hall. 11/12/08 <http://www.infoplease.com/us/supreme-court/cases/ar29.html>

Summary This website summarizes each major supreme court case in history. This article, for instance, deals with the Plessy vs. Ferguson supreme court in 1896. The arguments in the case revolved around the 13th Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Did the Louisiana law requiring segregated seating violate Plessy's “equal protection” under the law? Though this case does not have a direct correlation with affirmative action, it does suggest some ideas about segregation and equal rights, a subtopic of affirmative action.

Jeremy Lazzara

Regents of the University of California v. Bakke

Link <http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0438_0265_ZS.html>

Summary This website is about the major Supreme Court cases. More specifically, this article talks about the California vs. Bakke case. In this case, The Medical School of the University of California at Davis (hereinafter Davis) had two admissions programs for the entering class of 100 students -- the regular admissions program and the special admissions program. Under the regular procedure, candidates whose overall undergraduate grade point averages fell below 2.5 on a scale of 4.0 were summarily rejected. About one out of six applicants was then given an interview, following which he was rated on a scale of 1 to 100 by each of the committee members (five in 1973 and six in 1974), his rating being based on the interviewers' summaries, his overall grade point average, his science courses grade point average, his Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) scores, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, and other biographical data, all of which resulted in a total "benchmark score." This special admissions program was set aside specifically for the minorities, separating the class between race. In this case, the Equal Protection Cluase, also known as the 14th Amendment, is discussed.

Jeremy Lazzara

Regents of University of Cal. vs. Bakke: Full text

Link "REGENTS OF the UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA". Enfacto. 11/13/08. <http://www.enfacto.com/case/U.S./438/265/>

Summary Here is another article dedicated to the University of Cal. vs. Bakke Supreme Court case. This article contains the entire court case, whereas the website above describes the case.

Jeremy Lazzara

Gratz vs. Bollinger: University of Michigan

Link The Oyez Project, Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003), available at: <http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2002/2002_02_516/> (last visited Thursday, November 13, 2008).

Summary This website summarizes the Gratz vs. Bollinger: University of Michigan Supreme Court case. What I enjoyed about this website is that it describes the case in full detail, categorizing the case from abstract information to the question and conclusion. This is a good website to look at if you are looking for a quick summary of the University of Michigan court case.

Jeremy Lazzara

Thanks for finding this website, it is pretty amazing, if you search through it you can find the actual recordings of the arguements before the Supreme Court. They don't really do any commentary but a lot of primary information. -Linda Pierce, Librarian

Texas vs. Lesage

Link The Oyez Project, Texas v. Lesage, 528 U.S. 18 (1999), available at: <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1999/1999_98_1111/> (last visited Thursday, November 13, 2008).

Summary This article briefly describes the Texas vs. Lesage Supreme Court case. This article describes the case in a detailed list, from abstract information, to question and the conclusion to the case.

Jeremy Lazzara

Bush vs. Lucas

Link The Oyez Project, Bush v. Lucas, 462 U.S. 367 (1983), available at: <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1982/1982_81_469/> (last visited Thursday, November 13, 2008).

Summary This article describes the Bush vs. Lucas Supreme Court case. The question discussed in this case is: Can a federal employee sue for damages for the violation of his First Amendment rights by his superior where Congress has provided a comprehensive remedial scheme, although one which does not fully compensate the employee for the harm suffered? The conclusion of this case was: No; not under the CSC regulations. The federal judiciary, pursuant to its common law authority, has the power to recognize new causes of action in absence of, or to supplement, statutory remedies unless Congress has expressly indicated its relief is to be exclusive.

Jeremy Lazzara

Affirmative-action arguments reveal divided Supreme Court

Citation Allen Pusey. "Affirmative-action arguments reveal divided Supreme Court." (n.d.). TOPICsearch. EBSCO. [Library name], [City], [State abbreviation]. 6 Nov. 2008 <http://proxy.foley.gonzaga.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=tth&AN=2W72106875252&site=ehost-live>.

Summary This article will give you a good idea of the Michigan court case. It gives a bit of background followed by reasons from both the students and from the university.

"Race, because of the Constitution, should never be a factor," Kolbo said.

Maureen Mahoney defended the Michigan law school admissions process as being highly individualized. She said race was only one of many factors-such as job experience, socioeconomic status and leadership potential-used to evaluate applicants to the school. She said the law school, rated as one of the nation's best, admits only qualified students and has no interest in admitting a minority who might not succeed.

Matt Theisen

New Twists Mark the Debate over Texas' Top 10-Percent Plan

Link Schmidt, Peter. "New Twists Mark the Debate Over Texas' Top 10-Percent Plan." Chronicle of Higher Education 54.39 (06 June 2008): A20-A20. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Foley Center Library, Spokane, WA. 6 Nov. 2008 <http://proxy.foley.gonzaga.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=32538064&site=ehost-live>.

Summary/Reconstruction This article reflects the court case in 2004 with the University of Texas. It mentions the outcome of the case and then purposes the question "Did Texas lawmakers come up with a workable alternative to such policies when they adopted a measure that required public colleges there to admit any young state resident in the top 10th of his or her high-school class?" This article explains the findings of the case, its lawsuit, adjustment (if any), and described the 10-percent plan.


U. of Texas Not Required to Review Applicants

Link Schmidt, Peter. "U. of Texas Not Required to Review 2 Applicants." Chronicle of Higher Education 54.40 (13 June 2008): A23-A23. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Foley Center Library, Spokane, WA. 6 Nov. 2008 <http://proxy.foley.gonzaga.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=32993477&site=ehost-live>.

Summary/Reconstruction This is simply a small source that deals with the U. of Texas again but is more recent and explains that a federal judge has refused to re-evaluate 2 white students who sued the institution claiming that the admission policies were discriminatory. I thought this was interesting even though it is very short.


Professional Views

Universities must keep leadership paths open to all, Lehman asserts

Link Myer, Linda. "Universities must keep leadership paths open to all, Lehman asserts." Www.news.cornell.edu. 14 Mar. 2004. 11 Nov. 2008 <http://www.news.cornell.edu/chronicle/04/3.11.04/lehman-cipa_lect.html>.

Summary/ Reconstruction This article deals with diffrent cases and how they should be thought of. Also it talks in great length about the judges in each of the most importhant court cases, and how thier messages should be interpreted.


Obama's Fumble on Affirmative Action

Link Young, Yolanda. "Obama's fumble on affirmative action." USA Today (n.d.). Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Foley Center Library, Spokane, WA. 6 Nov. 2008 <http://proxy.foley.gonzaga.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=J0E131200146008&site=ehost-live>.

Summary/Reconstruction I thought this article might be helpful because it is dealing with the two presidential candidates and their debates on affirmative action. Also, another argument is brought up that expresses affirmative action is not going to be the long-term solution problem or race in America. This would be a good source for that argument of our topic.


What is the afterlife of Affirmative Action?

Link Gould, Jon. "What is the afterlife of affirmative action?." Human Rights: Journal of the Section of Individual Rights & Responsibilities 22.4 (Fall95 1995): 1-1. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Foley Center Library, Spokane, WA. 12 Nov. 2008 <http://proxy.foley.gonzaga.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=9604110774&site=ehost-live>.

Summary/Reconstruction I thought that this article would be useful because it is another professional view on affirmative action. This article is written by Jon Gould the Assistant Director of the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago.


Articles that are agree with Affirmative Action

Should Affirmative Action policies, which give preference based on minority status be eliminated

LinkMesserli, Joe. "Should Affirmative Action Policies, Which Give Preferential Treatment Based on Minority Status, be Eliminated?" BalancedPolitics.org. 17 February 2008. 10 December 2008 <http://www.balancedpolitics.org/affirmative_action.htm#links>.

Reconstruction-I found this website to be especially helpful due to the fact that it lists out a number of pros and cons for the purpose of Affirmative Action. It gives an in depth definition of Affirmative Action and then it goes into describing why people are for it and why people are against it.


[Alfino - Yes, this is an interesting site since he organizes arguments on both sides. I'm not sure about the authoritativeness, but I like the focus on arguments!]

Affirmative Action's success to Minorities

Link Santiago, Roberto. "Affirmative Action Is Essential to the Success of Hispanics." Current Controversies: Racism. Ed. Jennifer A. Hurley. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1998. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. INLAN - Gonzaga University Library. 6 Nov. 2008 <http://find.galegroup.com/ovrc/infomark.do?&contentSet=GSRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T010&prodId=OVRC&docId=EJ3010060214&source=gale&srcprod=OVRC&userGroupName=gonzagaufoley&version=1.0>.

Summary This article offers a look at the opposing viewpoint the Affirmative action. Sure, I do think affirmative action should be stopped, but I have never seen the other side of the story for affirmative action. So here it is, a great way to look at how affirmative action helps the Hispanics. This article identifies key ideas, including: qualified minority, how affirmative action makes a difference, economic advantages, and the equal opportunity act.

Jeremy Lazzara

Affirmative-Action Programs Are Necessary

Link Orfield, Gary. "Affirmative-Action Programs Are Necessary." Opposing Viewpoints: Discrimination. Ed. Jacqueline Langwith. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. INLAN - Gonzaga University Library. 12 Nov. 2008 <http://find.galegroup.com/ovrc/infomark.do?&contentSet=GSRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T010&prodId=OVRC&docId=EJ3010125280&source=gale&srcprod=OVRC&userGroupName=gonzagaufoley&version=1.0>.

Summary This article talks about how affirmative has a positive affect on our nation and how it is necessary because our country is deeply divided. It focus's on how schools are divided and unequal, how students appreciate diversity, how college admissions should be left up to faculty, how our schools and our nation are diverse, and affirmative action is important. It seems like a good article to gain a better understanding on why affirmative action is important in society.

Josh Petosa

Articles that disagree with Affirmative Action

Coloring the Campus

Citation Cohen, Adam. “Coloring the Campus.” Time. 17 September. 2001. U.S. Times. 11 December 2008 < http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1000804-3,00.html>.

Summary This article explains the Georgia, Texas and somewhat of the California lawsuit and how each school is making changes to their affirmative action policies so that they can appeal to more diversity. Texas has an interesting set up which I found helpful in my paper.

Evan Clark

Opponents and Supporters of Affirmative Action Debate Use of Race in College Admissions

Citation Nealy, Michelle J. “Opponents and Supporters of Affirmative Action Debate Use of Race in College Admissions.” Diverse Online. 2005. Diverse Education. 10 December 2008. < http://www.diverseeducation.com/artman/publish/printer_11185.shtml>.

Summary Hits on the conterversial subject of whether or not affirmative action is a "preference." Ward Connerly is referred during the article. Helpful solutions offered!

Evan Clark

Should Affirmative Action Play a Role in Higher Education Admission Decisions?

Citation “Should Affirmative Action Play a Role in Higher Education Admission Decisions?” About.com:Race Relations. The New York Times Company. 11 December 2008 < http://racerelations.about.com/od/raceeducation/i/aainhighered_2.htm>.

Summary The views of both opposers and advocates of affirmative action is given in this article. Also, the present status of affirmative action. The solution that I believe I will use in my paper was thought of while reading this article. Very moderate for its stance.

Evan Clark

The Case of Affirmative Action

Citation Sacks, David. Thiel, Peter. “The Case Against Affirmative Action.” Stanford Magazine. November/December. 2008. Stanford Alumni Association. 11 December 2008 http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2008/novdec/home.html.

Summary I must say this is the most helpful article I have found so far that supports my own personal view on Affirmative action. It addresses the problems with affirmative action conservatively and offers solutions and other options than affirmative action.

Evan Clark

The Fallacy of Affirmative Action

Citation Kepple, Benjamin. The Fallacy of Affirmative Action. 9 December 2008<http://www.umich.edu/archives/1995/11-15-95.html>.

Summary The article focuses mainly on the fact that Affirmative Action is around solely for the purpose of making up for past racial conflicts. It touches on the fact that the times have changed and affirmative action needs to be abolished. Kepple offers quite a few of his own solutions to what would take the place of affirmative action if it was indeed gotten rid of. I found this point of view somewhat extra however, helpful.

Evan Clark

Affirmative Action is Racist

Citation Billingsley, K.L. "Affirmative Action Is Racist." Current Controversies: Racism. Ed. Jennifer A. Hurley. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1998. Opposing Viewpoints Critical Thinking. Gale. INLAN - Gonzaga University Library. 6 Nov. 2008 <http://find.galegroup.com/ovrc/infomark.do?&contentSet=GSRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T010&prodId=OVRC&docId=EJ3010060213&source=gale&srcprod=OVRT&userGroupName=gonzagaufoley&version=1.0>.

Summary This article gives a good idea on how affirmative action actually hinders society rather then helping through equal employment. It also talks about how affirmative action is "seeking new victims" by protecting the rights of transsexuals and cross dressers. I think that this article has some good information and would be a good resource to look at while learning more about affirmative action.

Josh Petosa

A "poison" divides us

Citation Montgomery, Alicia. "A "poison" divides us." Politics 2000. 27 Mar. 2000. 11 Nov. 2008 <http://archive.salon.com/politics2000/feature/2000/03/27/connerly/index.html?cp=sal&dn=110>.

Summay/Reconstruction This article is an amazing source of information written by Ward Connerly. Ward Connerly "authored California's Proposition 209, which did away with affirmative action programs in government and higher education, and repeated this triumph two years later in Washington state." He goes in to depth about how affirmative action is causing tension between whites and blacks.

Matt Theisen

Possible Solutions

Against our bests interests: An ambivalent view of affirmative action

Link Schmidt, Peter. "U. of Texas Not Required to Review 2 Applicants." Chronicle of Higher Education 54.40 (13 June 2008): A23-A23. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Foley Center Library, Spokane, WA. 6 Nov. 2008 <http://proxy.foley.gonzaga.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=32993477&site=ehost-live>.

Summay/Reconstruction This article gives perspectives of different people and what they have to say about affirmative action. Also, it gives a brief history of affirmative action as well as touches the fairness and possible solutions, if there are any.


AAAA Training Institute

Link (http://www.affirmativeaction.org/training.html

Summary Federal and state legislation and executive orders have led to increased demand for trained professionals and managers responsible for formulating and implementing affirmative action, equal employment opportunity, and diversity policies. The American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) Professional Development Training Institute (PDTI) has developed courses to meet the needs of both employers and professionals seeking to fill these roles.

Jeremy Lazzara


I think this is coming along well. You have good background sources. I think there are more authoritative or "expert" points of view on the issue that you haven't found yet. I expected to see some of the better conservative and liberal journals of opinion. You do have diversity of view point here, which is great, but you could look for views from more selective sources. Some of you slackers still aren't posting citations! Please try to get to that. We can't really ask the librarians to review your pages until you have citations up. - Alfino 11/13/08

A little library input. You have a good mix of sources, journals, websites, but with this topic there are also tons of book materials. Not that you would need to read the entire book but sections or chapters might be useful. The subject heading Affirmative action programs Law and legislation United States.will get you over 50 books on the topic. Also remember that if you need more opinion pieces you can always limit your search in Academic Search Premier to editorials if you need just opinion pieces. - Linda Pierce, Librarian