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.

Watch the complete interview online.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

Recognized for the excellence of its faculty, curriculum and clinical programs, the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law enrolls approximately 900 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 81 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 23rd worldwide in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.