Causation Fallacy 2.0: Revisiting the Myth and Math of Affirmative Action

Sherick Hughes, Dana N. Thompson Dorsey, Juan F. Carrillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Justice Goodwin Liu reexamined seminal affirmative action in higher education legal cases beginning with the landmark 1978 case, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke and leading up to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Gratz v. Bollinger. Liu argued that the Bakke and Gratz lawsuits were grounded in an underlying causation fallacy, largely because neither case involved enough applicants of color to change the likelihood of Bakke’s and Gratz’s admittance. Recent lawsuits from self-identified White and Asian, rejected applicants have emerged against top-ranked universities. This article revisits Liu’s assertions by applying his critical approach to those cases. Data indicate too few applicants of color to change the likelihood of recent plaintiffs’ admittance. Concluding arguments name Causation Fallacy 2.0 as a useful tool for explaining the cultural politics of race surrounding affirmative action admissions cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-93
Number of pages31
JournalEducational Policy
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • affirmative action
  • college admissions
  • cultural politics of race
  • diversity
  • equity
  • racial/ethnic data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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