Meredith, Colorblind Constitutionalism, and the Impact on Higher Education

By Small, Lucie | Journal of Law and Education, July 2008 | Go to article overview

Meredith, Colorblind Constitutionalism, and the Impact on Higher Education


Small, Lucie, Journal of Law and Education


I. INTRODUCTION

A. Scope of the Issue

Under the recent Meredith Supreme Court decision, there will likely be more cases brought before the Court concerning race and education in an attempt to invalidate educational policies that are not satisfactorily "race neutral." The Meredith decision, building in part on prior cases, puts race-based scholarships and admissions procedures in higher education at risk. Specific language in the majority opinion adheres to race neutral, color blind rhetoric, which in turn does not comport with higher education admissions procedures regarding either the use of race as a factor or the granting of scholarships designated specifically for minorities.

B. Defining Minority

The term "minority" in the context of race is commonly used to refer to anyone who is nonwhite; it is a blanket term for African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, et cetera. It is insufficient to group all minorities together as if their history and experiences are the same. The focus of this note will primarily be on the African American minority group. Historically, there is some commonality in how these various groups have been oppressed; thus, a note focusing specifically on one minority group can still be instructive as applied to others.

C. Purpose of the Note

This note suggests that a race neutral policy employs a strategic rhetoric with a discernable pattern that has particularly harmful implications in the context of higher education. It focuses specifically on the Meredith decision and its implications for future court decisions involving race and higher education. Also, this note examines the likelihood of a future reexamination of Gratz and Grutter, which currently control the standard of review for policies utilizing race in higher education.

Lastly, this note proposes that the education and legal communities support a standard which mandates that race be used as a factor in admissions procedures and protects the designation of scholarship monies for minorities. Such a plan would likely not pass the strict standard of review advocated by Meredith. But under a more deferential standard of review that gives preference to state and university determinations, mandated use of race in admissions and scholarships designations would pass constitutional muster.

II. EXPLANATION AND ANALYSIS

A. The Current Standard

Meredith states that racial classifications are only permissible when there is the strictest connection between the classification and the justification, that the Constitution and our laws are color blind, and that "reverse discrimination" will not end societal discrimination.1 Meredith somewhat reaffirms other cases such as Gratz, Grutter, and Bakke dealing with race and higher education, which, taken together, propose that race may be considered as one of many factors to maintain a specific definition of diversity on college campuses, but only if such plan is narrowly tailored to obtain a specific interest and includes a reasonable termination point.2

In addition, the Department of Education (DOE) dictates guidelines for race-exclusive scholarships. Permissible indicators are: (1) the scholarship is implemented to remedy past discrimination; (2) the scholarship is enacted by Congress; or (3) the scholarship is privately funded and does not limit scholarship opportunities for other students.3 The DOE has also applied the standards for admission, such as the race as "one factor" rule set forth in Bakke, to financial aid policies.4

B. Problems with Meredith, Gratz & Grutier & Other Alternatives

Judicial standards articulated in Meredith create too high a barrier for race-based admissions practices in a society where racism has transformed from overt to covert. There are multiple problems with the standard of review and the rationale in Meredith resulting in a flawed and inadequate standard for addressing the use of racial quotas in education. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Meredith, Colorblind Constitutionalism, and the Impact on Higher Education
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.