SSN Memo

How Racial Inequality Persists in Selective Public University Entry

Policy field

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University of Washington

Below is an excerpt from a memo written by Mark Long in July 2020.

In its 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of limited use of affirmative action in college admissions. Writing for the majority, Justice O’Connor famously stated in her opinion that, “(t)he Court expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.” This speculation fits into a broader framework, which holds that, in the absence of continued discrimination, racial inequality will recede on its own given sufficient time. This speculation is not supported by evidence.