Getting Real About Race and Class: An Evaluation of the Constitutionality of Class-based, Socioeconomic Affirmative Action Without Grutter

Junis L Baldon – The concept of “racial neutrality” remains omnipresent in our political and judicial discourse about the use of race in college and university admissions.  Proponents of “race neutrality” have advocated for the use of class-based, socioeconomic affirmative action as a possible alternative to the explicit use of race in college and university admissions. Indeed, even Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas have argued that the use of class-based, socioeconomic affirmative action is an acceptable, constitutional race-neutral alternative to race-based affirmative action. And in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the Supreme Court seemingly endorsed race-neutral class-based, socioeconomic affirmative action by imposing on colleges and universities “the ultimate burden of demonstrating, before turning to racial classifications, that available, workable race-neutral alternatives do not suffice.”

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Citation: Junis L Baldon, Getting Real About Race and Class: An Evaluation of the Constitutionality of Class-based, Socioeconomic Affirmative Action Without Grutter, 24 U. Miami Bus. L. Rev. 19 (2016).

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