Monday, September 9, 2013

Recent Scholarship: Empirical Study on Michigan Law School After Affirmative Action Ban

Meera E. Deo (Visiting Scholar, UC Berkeley Center for the Study of Law & Society, Assoc. Professor, Thomas Jefferson School of Law) has written Empirically-Derived Compelling State Interests in Affirmative Action Jurisprudence. Professor Deo draws from empirical evidence to present support for educational diversity as well as alternatives to diversity as compelling state interests. The Article highlights the student perspective using data collected directly from students attending Michigan Law School after a state-wide ban on affirmative action. (Tip of the hat to Professor Wendy Greene for passing along this article.)

Cribbed from Professor Deo's abstract:

Traditionally, educational diversity has been the only compelling state interest that satisfies strict scrutiny in affirmative action challenges. This Article provides additional support for the interest of educational diversity, and proposes three additional compelling state interests for courts to consider. Support for these compelling state interests comes directly from detailed quantitative and qualitative analyses of empirical data collected from Michigan Law students, relating to their preferences for diversity, perceptions of campus climate, and professional aspirations.  These findings indicate that educational diversity should remain a compelling state interest, and that courts should also consider the importance of (1) avoiding racial isolation, (2) promoting service to underserved communities, and (3) facilitating diversity in American leadership. 

Read Empirically-Derived Compelling State Interests in Affirmative Action Jurisprudence here.

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