Wednesday, August 31, 2022
Joseph D. G. Castro (J.D. Pepperdine, 2022), Comment, Not White Enough, Not Black Enough: Reimagining Affirmative Action Jurisprudence in Law School Admissions Through a Filipino-American Paradigm, 49 Pepp. L. Rev. 195 (2022):
Writing the majority opinion upholding the use of racial preferences in law school admissions in 2003, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor anticipated that racial preferences would no longer be necessary in twenty-five years. On the contrary, 2021 has seen the astronomic rise of critical race theory, the popularity of race-driven “diversity” initiatives in higher education, and the continued surge of identity politics in the mainstream. So much has been written on affirmative action—what else could this Comment add to the conversation?
Analyzing the Court’s application of strict scrutiny through a Filipino-American paradigm, this Comment ultimately concludes that affirmative action in law school admissions is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. However, this Comment also concludes that affirmative action is not only necessary to, but also consistent with, the repeatedly upheld anti-subordination aspect and redistributive rubric of the Reconstruction Amendments.
Navigating the tension between these two tenets, this Comment cautiously proposes a race-neutral alternative to current affirmative action policy toward building a more perfect union.