Affirmative Action in Antidiscrimination Law and Policy

An Overview and Synthesis

By Samuel Leiter & William M. Leiter

Subjects: Constitutional Studies
Series: SUNY series in American Constitutionalism
Paperback : 9780791455104, 334 pages, October 2002
Hardcover : 9780791455098, 334 pages, October 2002

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Table of contents


1. Introduction

The Topic
A Thumbnail History
The Book
Remembrance of Things Past
Note on Citations
Appendix to Chapter One: A Sampler of Federal Affirmative Action Programs Explicitly Mandated or Authorized by Statute or Administrative Regulation

2. The Roots of Affirmative Action, the Women's Movement, and the Groups Covered by Affirmative Action

Reconstruction and the Origins of Affirmative Action
White Supremacy and the Origins of Disparate Impact
The Women's Movement: The First and Second "Waves"
Which Groups Should Be Eligible for Affirmative Action Benefits?

3. The Career of Affirmative Action in Employment

Title VII and Employment Discrimination
The Midcareer of Employment Affirmative Action
Hostilities ResumeThe Unresolved Issues of Affirmative Action in Employment

Appendixes to Chapter Three


Appendix One: Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures
Appendix Two: Affirmative Action Guidelines of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Appendix Three: Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs: Affirmative Action Programs


4. Affirmative Action and the Primary and Secondary Schools

The Epochal Brown Ruling
Brown's Progeny
Recent Scholarship on School Integration
The Meaning of Brown I
Ethnocentrism, Affirmative Action, and Bilingual Education
The Twilight of Public School Racial/Ethnic Balancing, and the Continuing Quest for Reform

5. Affirmative Action in Higher Education

Affirmative Action and Student Admissions: Bakke and the Scholarly Debate
Strict Scrutiny and University Admissions: The Hopwood Case
The Unresolved Controversy over Nonremedial Affirmative Action
The Formerly De Jure Segregated Universities: The Historically Black Colleges and the Traditionally White Institutions
Gender Discrimination and Education

6. Affirmative Action and the Political Representation of Minorities

The 1965 Voting Rights Act and Its Amendments
The "Racial-Gerrymander" Cases of the 1990s and the Constitutional Requirements of the Equal Protection Clause
Women and Electoral Politics

7. Affirmative Action and Fair Housing

Housing Segregation
Federal Antidiscrimination Law Affecting Housing
Integration Achievement and Maintenance

8. Facing Affirmative Action's Future

Affirmative Action as an Instrument of Equal Opportunity:
Genesis, Variety, and Uncertainty
Central Legal Issues
The Ideological Clash
A Prelude to Judgment: A Sampler of Distinguished Disputants


Selected Bibliography

List and Index of Selected Cases

Topical Index

Index of Selected Names

A comprehensive interdisciplinary analysis of the past, present, and future of affirmative action in the United States.


Affirmative action has been and continues to be the flashpoint of America's civil rights agenda. Yet while the affirmative action literature is voluminous, no comprehensive account of its major legal and public policy dimensions exists. Samuel and William M. Leiter examine the origin and growth of affirmative action, its impact on American society, its current state, and its future anti-discrimination role, if any. Informed by several different disciplines—law, history, economics, sociology, political science, urban studies, and criminology—the text combines the relevant legal materials with analysis and commentary from a variety of experts. This even-handed presentation of the subject of affirmative action is sure to be a valuable aid to those seeking to understand the issue's many complexities.

Samuel Leiter is an attorney in private practice, specializing in civil rights and labor law. William M. Leiter is Professor of Political Science at California State University, Long Beach.


"…an evenhanded, comprehensive review and synthesis of the voluminous literature on affirmative action. " — ACADEME

"This book brings together diverse, complex, and normally scattered information regarding affirmative action into one unbiased, easy-to-understand comprehensive volume—a great resource for scholars and students. " — John D. Skrentny, University of California, San Diego