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Dec 16

Fisher v. University of Texas: Are Campus Racial Preferences Out of Control?

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Should the Supreme Court agree to hear Fisher v. University of Texas, a case challenging the University’s decision to escalate its use of racial and ethnic preferences in admissions? Or is the case an effort to disturb well-considered, settled law? The panelists will address these questions against the background of evidence developed over the last decade which reveals that racially-preferential admissions policies may do more harm than good even to their supposed beneficiaries. If this mounting research on “mismatch” is correct, we now have fewer, not more, minority physicians, lawyers, scientists, engineers and college professors than we would have had using race-neutral criteria. Have colleges and universities been engaged in a 43-year-old mistake? Or is the empirical research flawed? Among the research that will be examined is William G. Bowen & Derek Bok's 1997 apologia for racially-preferential admissions policies – The Shape of the River. Advocates of racially-preferential admission policies point to The Shape of the River as proof that these policies work. But upon closer examination, does the book come much closer to proving the “mismatch” thesis than to refuting it?


James Ho
Partner, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and former Texas Solicitor General and Counsel for the University of Texas

Loren AliKhan
O'Melveny & Myers LLP, and Counsel for League of United Latin American Citizens in Fisher v. University of Texas


The Honorable Gail Heriot
Professor, University of San Diego School of Law, and Commissioner, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Roger Clegg
President, Center for Equal Opportunity

More About the Speakers

Hosted By

Todd F. Gaziano Todd F. Gaziano

Director, Center for Legal & Judicial Studies Read More