USD’s Prof. of Law Gail Heriot Interviewed on PBS’s Newshour
San Diego (June 24, 2013) – Today University of San Diego School of Law Professor Gail Heriot was interviewed by Gwen Ifill on PBS’s Newshour. Heriot, also a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, was asked to discuss the Supreme Court’s decision on Fisher v. University of Texas. In a 7-1 vote, justices sent the case back to a lower court for a rehearing, dodging a decision on whether affirmative-action policies at public colleges around the country are unconstitutional.
"This is not an earth-shaking decision," said Herriot. "Essentially what the court did was clarify when it was willing to defer to academic expertise and when it wasn’t willing."
Heriot states the Fifth Circuit had interpreted the previous decision to require it to defer not just on whether or not diversity is a compelling purpose, but also whether the particular policy involved was narrowly tailored to serve that purpose. According to Heriot, academic expertise is now indicating that affirmative action is backfiring, that racial preferences actually do the opposite of what they are intended to do.
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