Affirmative Action


The paper will look at Affirmative Action and the initial intent of its legislation. Two court cases on Affirmative Action will also be considered with their results and conclusion. After that, results of Affirmative Action, both positive and negative will be noted and a personal view of the issue brought out.


In most definitions, Affirmative Action is brought out as taking into consideration factors that leads to discrimination and looking for policies that help cub discrimination, by race, gender, religion or nationality. The term was used first by the Americans with a purpose of promoting equality among the different groups, making sure that the minor groups are included in the existing programs of a society.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

Ball (2000), argued about the constitutionality of Affirmative Action and racism especially in higher education was one among the issues that carried a lot of weight in the Bakke Case.

He said that in the University of Washington, admissions were done in a racism manner and a student named Marco DeFunis was denied admission twice when the Affirmative Action was supposed to be enacted at the time. He had met the University qualifications, but him being denied the chance twice, of which he realized it was due to his race, he challenged the Affirmative Action because it was supposed to protect his constitutional rights.

DeFunis won the case in the lower courts and was admitted to the School of law, but later when the case went to the Supreme court, the question of Affirmative Action was avoided and they considered the case as one to be done away with because DeFunis was graduating from school (Tomasson, 2001).

After DeFunis’ case, there followed another one in the California court involving Allen Bakke. Bakke was an engineer at NASA and he felt he could enroll in the University of California-Davis Medical School at the age of 32.Though he had met all the qualifications; he was denied access because of his age. He challenged the University’s admission policy at the California State court and a verdict was set down which struck the school’s admission policy.

Bakke thought was not admitted to the school. The school challenged the decision of the lower court with the California Supreme Court. That decision was 6-1 that allowed Bakke to be admitted to the school and the school had to appeal the case to the United States Supreme Court. It was an important story during the 1970’s and the interesting part of the case is that it brought a split to the Supreme Court justices, where four were against Bakke and four was on his side.

Justice Powell broke the tie by setting the case on Bakke and said that discrimination by quotas was unconstitutional though he felt selection by race could still be used in higher education. The court contended that Affirmative Action could continue as long as racial discrimination was avoided. According to Ball’s findings, the impact of Bakke’s case is an improved diversification of all aspects of higher educational institutions (Stefoff, 2006).

From the study of the Bakke’s case, Ball found that the policy set flourished diversification in higher education. He reported that between 1988 -1995, African-American enrollment increased to more than 30 percent. The number of degrees earned by African-American rose to 34 for Bachelor degrees and 40 for Masters Degrees.

The case opened eyes and led to better admission practices at institutions of higher education thus trying to uphold the Affirmative Action. Bakke gave strength and support to the watered down version of Affirmative Action. The future holds that the issue may again arise. He hoped that there can be appointment of a new set of Justices in the Supreme Court during the next election and they will have different view on the issue from those who were before them.

There is still a fight in the US courts on the validity and constitutionality of the issue of Affirmative Action and a good thing that Lawrence did is to give people, his readers, a deep understanding of opinions of the courts on the matter of Affirmative Action. Bakke will continue to be a landmark court case and it will be interesting to see what will become of Affirmative Action.

After looking at what Ball had to say on Affirmative Action, I thought it was wise for us as a Company to be aware of issues of discrimination that may not be addressed by legislation. However, they are serious and can find their way to law. We all have different views on the legislation of Affirmative Action, but what matters is how that is done.

I hope there is such a time when the Supreme Court would not be avoiding the question because in the world today, Affirmative Action is necessary. As Ball hoped that the Justices in the Supreme Court could change in the next election, we hope too that the current Justices will uphold Affirmative Action as per the constitution.

We do good to remember that discriminatory practices, no matter how small, has effect on the person on the receiving end. A company’s objective cannot be achieved where discrimination thrives. It begins with you to uphold Affirmative Action.


Ball, H. (2000). The Bakke case: race, education, and affirmative action. Kansas: University Press of Kansas.

Tomasson, R. F. (2001). Affirmative action: the pros and cons of policy and practice. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.

Stefoff, R. (2006). The Bakke case: challenge to affirmative action. New York: Marshall Cavendish.

Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action
Affirmative action has been the subject of increasing debate and tension in American society. Affirmative action is the nations most ambitious attempt to redress the issues of racial and sexual discrimination. According to the University of Rhode Island, Affirmative action is defined as, the specific actions in recruitment, hiring, upgrading and other areas designed and taken for the purpose of eliminating the present effects of past discrimination, or present discrimination ( , 8). This allows minorities and women to be given special consideration in education and many other areas. The need for affirmative action is essential to college admissions credentials. Institutions with affirmative action policies generally set goals for increased diversity and equal opportunity among minority students.

Our society is not one of equality, but affirmative action provides a way that problems with inequality can be address to the public. Minorities such as African-Americans, Asians, and Hispanics live mostly in urban areas that have large populations. Therefore, many minorities normally attend lower quality schools. Colleges usually do not take into account that students come from different backgrounds and different quality schools. The students that have better intermediate and secondary schools have an advantage in college admissions, which exclude many minorities. Affirmative action helps students who come from a lower quality secondary school to have a chance to prove themselves in accredited college.
Another advantage of affirmative action is that it provides an environment of diversity. Diversity is essential to colleges and students. As part of higher education, students learn from face-to-face interaction with faculty member and other students to work productively inside and outside the classroom. Racial diversity can enhance college
atmosphere by improving communications. It can also develop understanding among individuals of different races. Affirmative action can help students overcome prejudices when students discover just how much they have in common with their peers from other races. The educational benefit of affirmative action is that majority of the students who has previously lack significant direct exposure to minorities, frequently have the most to gain from interaction with individuals. Diversity on college and university campuses may be something that helps people expand their mind, or be open to new opportunities. In the article Needed documentation of how affirmative action benefits all students, it discusses how it is essential t colleges and students to have minorities on the campuses (6). In the section, The Evidence for Diversity: Then and Now, it states:
In Justice Powells opinion, Baake relied heavily on the Harvard Plan. The admissions policy of Harvard College include justification for considering race as one of many factors used in deciding whom to admit. The plan stated that of Harvard College is to continue to offer first rate education to its students, minority representation in the undergraduate body would be ignored (2).

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

Justice Powell went on to support diversity plan, which was in 1978. I the seventies, the same things were happening as it is today. People were fighting to have their race or someone elses as a factor in college admissions. Although this happened at Harvard in 1978, it continues today all over the United States. The article goes on to state that twenty years later much has changed, yet we still rely on anecdotal evidence to support the claim that a racially diverse student body is essential to quality education (2). Affirmative action dealing with college is still trying to make campuses a more diverse place with a racially diverse student body. Admitting someone into college or a
university because they are smart, not only gives them a chance to be someone, but it also allows that campus to be diversified.

In the article, Diversity Fades on Campus, it says schools routinely make
exceptions for jocks, the children of big donors and alumni, and friends of power brokers.
So why shouldnt these same schools be allowed to make exceptions for minority
students. Minority students need the same advantages as jocks or students of big
donors to have an equal opportunity in school. Affirmative action gives the same
exceptions that some students who arent minorities receive t get into college.

According to Jackie Snow in the article The Positive Aspects of Affirmative Action the author states that minority and women remain economically disadvantage.


I'm Morris!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out