Affirmative Action in Antidiscrimination Law and Policy

An Overview and Synthesis, Second Edition

By William M. Leiter & Samuel Leiter

Subjects: Political Science, Public Law, Legal Studies, Constitutional Studies
Paperback : 9781438435145, 495 pages, April 2011
Hardcover : 9781438435138, 495 pages, April 2011

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Note on Citations

Chapter One


Introduction to Second Edition

Introduction to First Edition, 2002

Chapter Two

The Roots of Affirmative Action; The Women’s Movement; and Affirmative Action’s Group Coverage

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?

Immigration and Affirmative Action

The Multiracial Question

Chapter Three

The Career of Affirmative Action in Employment


Title VII and Employment Discrimination

The Supreme Court and the Quarrel over Employment

Affirmative Action, 1970–1989

Hostilities Continue

The Unresolved Issues of Affirmative Action in Employment

Conclusion: Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action

Chapter Four

Affirmative Action and the Primary and Secondary Schools


The Epochal Brown Ruling

The Meaning of Brown I

Brown’s Progeny

Academic Scholarship on School Integration and Education

Deprivation: A Variety of Views

Ethnocentrism, Affirmative Action, and Bilingual Education

The Twilight of School Racial/Ethnic Balancing and the Continuing Quest for Reform

Chapter Five

Affirmative Action in Higher Education


Affirmative Action and Student Admissions: The Scholarly Debate

Strict Scrutiny, Diversity, and University Admissions:The Hopwood, Grutter, and Gratz Cases
Diversity on Campus Continued

The Formerly De Jure Segregated Universities: The Historically

Black Colleges and the Traditionally White Institutions

Gender Discrimination and Education

Chapter Six

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 210
Women and Electoral Politics


Chapter Seven

Affirmative Action and Fair Housing


Housing Segregation

Federal Antidiscrimination Law Affecting Housing: The 1968 Fair Housing Act

Affirmative Action and Residential Integration


Chapter Eight

Constitutional Underclasses and Affirmative Action: The Disabled, Older Workers, Homosexuals


The Disability/Antidiscrimination Difference Canon

The ADA and Its Predecessors

The Courts and the ADA

The Supreme Court and Age Discrimination

The Supreme Court and Homosexuals

Epilogue: The Constitutional Underclasses and the Critical Issues

Chapter Nine

Facing Affirmative Action’s Future


The Supreme Court’s Civil Rights Hierarchy

Ethno-racial and Gender Affirmative Action as an Instrument of Equal Opportunity: Genesis, Variety, and Uncertainty

Central Legal Issues of Ethno-racial and Gender

Affirmative Action

The Ideological Clash Regarding Race/Gender/Ethnic

Affirmative Action



Appendix One: A Sampler of Federal Affirmative Action Programs Explicitly Mandated or Authorized by Statute or Administrative Regulation

Appendix Two: Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures

Appendix Three: Affirmative Action Guidelines of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Appendix Four: Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs: Affirmative Action Programs

Selected Bibliography
List and Index of Cases
Topical Index
Index of Selected Names

Provides a comprehensive and even-handed overview of the very contentious subject of affirmative action.


Racism, sexism, and ethnic discrimination have long represented a seemingly intractable problem. Affirmative action was conceived as an attack on these ingrained problems, but today it is widely misunderstood. This volume reviews new developments in affirmative action law, policy, and ideological conflict in the areas of employment, education, voting, and housing. The revised edition adds a discussion of age, disability, and sexual-orientation discrimination, providing a truly comprehensive portrait of affirmative action that is informed by history, law, political science, sociology, and economics.

William M. Leiter is Professor of Political Science at California State University, Long Beach. He is the coauthor (with Samuel Leiter) of the first edition of Affirmative Action in Antidiscrimination Law and Policy: An Overview and Synthesis (also published by SUNY Press). The late Samuel Leiter was a civil rights and labor attorney in private practice.