Beginning with a distinction drawn between principles of compensatory and distributive justice, Fiscus argues that the former, although often the basis for judgments made in individual discrimination cases, cannot sufficiently justify broad programs of affirmative action. Only a theory of distributive justice, one that assumes minorities have a right to what they would have gained proportionally in a nonracist society, can persuasively provide that justification. On this basis, the author argues in favor of proportional racial quotas-and challenges the charge of "reverse discrimination" raised in protest in the name of the "innocent victims" of affirmative action-as an action necessary to approach the goals of fairness and equality.
The Constitutional Logic of Affirmative Action focuses on Supreme Court affirmative action rulings from Bakke (1976) to Croson (1989) and includes an epilogue by editor Stephen L. Wasby that considers developments through 1995. General readers concerned with racial justice, affirmative action, and public policy, as well as legal specialists and constitutional scholars will find Fiscus's argument passionate, balanced, and persuasive.
Publisher: Duke University Press
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 272 g
Dimensions: 229 x 140 x 14 mm
"At a time when the mere mention of quotas sends politicians of all stripes running for cover, it is remarkable to see someone looking at the crowd calmly, and making distinctions which show that, like anything else, quotas can be well used or used in ways that are unjust."-Stanley Fish, Duke University