Poll: 69 Percent Say Need for Affirmative Action in College Admissions Will End

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SAN FRANCISCO

Most Americans agree that in 25 years, colleges and universities should no longer need to look at an applicant's race to make sure there is racial and ethnic diversity on campus, a new poll fords.

Seventy percent of respondents said they agree with Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who wrote in June that although the Constitution allows race to be a factor in college admissions now, there should be no need for that consideration in a quarter-century.

The Survey for the American Bar Association (ABA) also found 88 percent of respondents think the nation has made substantial or some progress toward eliminating discrimination in public schools since the Supreme Court's 1954 desegregation ruling.

The Harris Interactive poll was conducted by telephone with 1,011 respondents on July 24-27 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent. The ABA, the nation's largest lawyers' group, released the poll during its annual meeting last month in San Francisco.

Former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer also took office last month as the first Black president of the 126-year-old ABA. Archer kicked off a yearlong observance of the anniversary of Brown a Board of Education by announcing appointment of a Brown v. Board of Education Commission, headed by Charles Ogletree of Harvard University Law School. The anniversary will be May 17, 2004.

"Unless you lived through it, it's difficult to imagine the sense of frustration, the desire of parents to have their children go to good schools and universities. …