Let racial preference ruling start an intelligent debate

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Supreme Court’s narrow decision Monday keeping alive a challenge to racial preferences in admissions at the University of Texas may open the way for a healthy shift in the debate from legal abstractions to whether these preferences are working as advertised.

That should bring attention to the growing body of evidence that large preferences harm many intended beneficiaries and reduce socioeconomic diversity.

The seeds of a potentially rich debate in future lawsuits and around the country about how racial preferences operate in practice and their effects on students can be found in Justice Anthony Kennedy’s spare opinion for himself and six other justices.

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