The State-by-State Assault on Equal Opportunity

September 18, 2008

In a discussion with relevance to state ballot measures across the nation, ACS is releasing an important new Issue Brief focusing on initiatives that would amend state constitutions to ban all affirmative action measures. In her article “The State-by-State Assault on Equal Opportunity,” Professor Melissa Hart writes that “a small group of well-funded opponents of equal opportunity, frustrated with the [Supreme] Court’s continued rejection of their radical vision of formal equality, has been steadily attempting to shift the debate into the political arena.”

The current proposals, according to Professor Hart, an associate professor at the University of Colorado Law School, would end “equal opportunity initiatives [that] have been an essential component of efforts to foster true equality and ensure civil rights for women and people of color.”

In examining the “flawed premises” that underlie the initiatives to amend state constitutions, Professor Hart explores the persistence of subtle discrimination in our society, the reality that educational and employment opportunities vary based upon race and sex, the intrinsic benefits of diversity, and that leveling the playing field does not provide an advantage to the undeserving.

Read the full issue brief here: Hart_issue_brief

By Melissa Hart