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The Pros and Cons of Affirmative Action

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Throughout history, laws and rulings have been enacted to help eradicate discrimination based on religion, sex, age, and race. For example, the thirteenth amendment made slavery illegal. The Fourteenth amendment guarantees equal protection under the law despite race. The Fifteenth amendment made it illegal to deny a person the right to vote based on race. Moreover, one of the most important equal rights rulings comes from the case Brown v. Board of education, which makes segregation in schools illegal. However, to ensure that equal opportunity, even beyond that of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments and Brown v. Board of education, affirmative action was set in place. President John F. Kennedy first used affirmative action in a 1961 executive order, which requested equal opportunity and treatment in places of employment. President Lyndon Johnson later extended the executive order to include women (Skyes). The purpose of affirmative action is to make sure equal opportunity is given to minorities and women in jobs, and schools. However, affirmative action is controversial. Many organizations support affirmative action and feel it is necessary. Conversely, many organizations oppose affirmative action and feel it should be abolished. Supporters and rejecters of affirmative action use different strategies to support their opinions, however the supports of affirmative action groups make a stronger argument.

Reasons for supporting Affirmative action

Many of those who support affirmative action believe without affirmative action, schools and jobs would not be diverse and without affirmative action, diversity would not naturally occur; therefore, to ensure equal opportunity for all, affirmative action needs to be im...

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...e argued that many African Americans had been admitted that were less qualified then he. He argued that he was denied admission based on his race and this was a violation of his fourteenth amendment right. The supreme court ruled in favor of Bakke. From this case the supreme court ruled that it was illegal to hold special admissions for students and that race could not be a soul determinate in admission. However, in a competitive process, race could help determine admission.

Works Cited

Lawrence, Charles. “Columbia Law Review.” Two views of the River: A Critique of the Liberal Defense of Affirmative Action 101( 2001): 928-74. JSTOR. Web. 13 Jul 2011.

Regents of University of California v. Bakke. No. 76-811. Supreme Ct. of the US. 28 June 1978.

Sykes, Marquita. “The Origins of Affirmative Action.” National Organization for Women. 1995.Web. 13 Jul 2011.
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