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Equal Rights

Affirmative Action


Summary of Policy and Recommendations
  • ADL has endorsed limited racial preferences in order to remedy specific discrimination, but it has consistently opposed the non-remedial use of race-based criteria, believing that the eradication of discrimination in our society is best achieved through strict assurance of equal treatment to all. 


  • ADL believes that a government may have a compelling interest in promoting racial diversity in the educational setting.


  • We support these twin positions because of our commitment to our nation’s core constitutional precepts of fairness and its civil rights laws.


  • We endorse programs to help disadvantaged Americans achieve the remedial training and education required to succeed. 


  • We urge school districts use constitutional means to seek a diverse educational environment.

Background

ADL has endorsed limited racial preferences in order to remedy specific discrimination, but it has consistently opposed the non-remedial use of race-based criteria, believing that the eradication of discrimination in our society is best achieved through strict assurance of equal treatment to all.  

For example, while strongly sympathetic to the goal of increasing the numbers of minority students in our nation’s selective universities and professional schools through the pursuit of diverse viewpoints, life experience, and outlooks, ADL adheres to the principle that school admissions programs must be race neutral.  See ADL’s brief in Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003) and Gratz  v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003).  Otherwise, applicants who are not members of designated minority groups are denied fundamental equal protection because such systems value persons for their race, not for relevant individual characteristics.

While this position has led us to oppose the non-remedial use of race-based criteria, we believe that a government may have a compelling interest in promoting racial diversity in the educational setting.  See Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No.1, Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, 127 S.Ct. 2738 (2007)

We support these twin positions because of our commitment to our nation’s core constitutional precepts of and its civil rights laws.  We endorse programs to help disadvantaged Americans achieve the remedial training and education required to succeed.  We urge school districts to use constitutional means to seek a diverse educational environment.

 


Printable Version
ADL Recommendations to RNC and DNC Platforms (.pdf)
Related Press Release
ADL Submits Policy Priorities to Democratic and Republican Platform Committees (7/21/08)
RELATED
Statements on Issues Related to the 2008 Campaign
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