Dean Joseph Curtis Professor of Law F. Michael Higginbotham contributed an op-ed, with 3L Matthew Bradford, to The Baltimore Sun. “Racial diversity: a worthwhile goal” is to appear in the Dec. 11 print paper.
The op-ed begins: “While the Supreme Court has recently placed stringent limits on institutions of higher education that voluntarily implement affirmative action programs, the window of constitutional permissibility has never been completely closed. That could change, however, if the court sides with the plaintiff in Fisher v. University of Texas, a case argued Wednesday urging the justices to declare, once and forever, that affirmative action is unconstitutional.”
Higginbotham and Bradford write that “adequate racial diversity representing more than mere tokenism cannot be achieved without taking race into account during the admission process,” since many education practices, such as funding public high schools through local property taxes, continue to disproportionately affect the pool of minority applicants.
Higginbotham and Bradford continue: “In evaluating the need for improved diversity in admissions, the lengthy and shameful history of excluding minorities should not be ignored. For much of its history, [the University of Texas], along with many other similarly prestigious schools, deliberately excluded minority students. And today disparities in student racial representation in higher education remain alarmingly wide.”