A More Perfect Union? An Analysis of Schuette v. The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and Minority Group Rights in Multicultural Democracies

Barber, Robert (2016) A More Perfect Union? An Analysis of Schuette v. The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and Minority Group Rights in Multicultural Democracies. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Eric Weber from Public Policy Leadership, University of Mississippi.

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In 2006, the State of Michigan passed Proposal 2, an amendment to the Michigan Constitution which effectively banned affirmative action and race-conscious admissions policies at Michigan’s public universities. Despite arguments that this policy placed an undue burden on certain ethnic and racial minorities by suppressing their participation in the American political process, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Proposal 2 as constitutional in the 2014 case Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. This thesis seeks to argue for the necessity of restoring the access to political participation removed with the passage of Proposal 2, as well as present a convincing case that race-conscious university admission policies continue to exist as salient policy interventions that minority groups should have the ability to advocate for. The following literature review will first explore and contextualize the policy problem addressed in Schuette. Part One will begin by briefly summarizing the arguments of the case through the dissent authored by Justice Sonya Sotomayor and plurality opinion of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Part Two will explore classical and contemporary scholarship on the issues of group rights vs. individual rights and the field’s intersection with the majoritarian democracy. These sources will range from Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics to Kymlicka’s Citizenship in Diverse Societies. Drawing from this literature review, my thesis will move towards a discussion which attempts to engage the question, “at what point is government intervention necessary to ensure equal access to the political process for minority groups in democratic societies?” Following this discussion, the work will seek to make a relevant policy recommendation that may prove clarifying as the Court reexamines Fisher v. University of Texas-Austin.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Barber, Robert
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. in Public Policy Leadership
Thesis Advisor: Eric Weber
Thesis Advisor's Department: Public Policy Leadership
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
K Law > KF United States Federal Law
Depositing User: Mr. Robert Barber
Date Deposited: 23 May 2016 18:04
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2016 16:58
URI: http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/647

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