Supreme Court Decision on Affirmative Action Case Will Determine the Level of Racial Diversity on College Campuses
Interview with Angelo Anchetta, director of Legal and Policy Advocacy at Harvard University's Civil Rights Project, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
As the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the latest challenge to affirmative action, an estimated 50,000 supporters of the program, many of them students from across the U.S. -- rallied and marched just steps away from where justices and lawyers gathered to debate the highly charged issue. Opponents of affirmative action, backed by the Bush administration, launched this legal challenge against the University of Michigan's undergraduate and law school adminissions program. This is the first significant challenge to affirmative action since the high court's controversial Bakke decision 25 years ago.
The University of Michigan defended its admissions policy of awarding extra points to African American, Native American and Latino student applicants on the basis of the school's effort to encourage diversity in its academic environment. But, the Bush administration's Solicitor General Theodore Olson argued that the university's programs are unconstitutional because the school hadn't pursued "race neutral" alternative methods to achieve diversity. Many observers noted that questions from the justices during the hearing indicated that the Supreme Court would likely uphold the constitutionality of most elements of affirmative action.
Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Angelo Anchetta, director of Legal and Policy Advocacy Programs at Harvard University's Civil Rights Project, who assesses the Supreme Court case challenging affirmative action programs and the state of race relations in America.
Contact the project at (617) 496-6367 or visit their Web site at www.civilrightsproject.Harvard.edu
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