In this Article Professor Beschle assesses the continuing legitimacy of affirmative action as a governmental response to racial discrimination. The author begins with a historical review of Supreme Court decisions in which the Court has determined the circumstances under which affirmative action programs are permissible. Next, Professor Beschle surveys the views of contemporary social scientists who contend that racial bias is an instinctive human characteristic, rather than simply a learned attitude. Finally, the author considers the implications of the work of these theorists for the future of affirmative action. Professor Beschle concludes that the ongoing need for governmental action to offset intransigent human prejudice justifies the continuation of affirmative action programs and that the social sciences provide vital insights for the design of future efforts at affirmative action.
Donald L. Beschle, “You've Got To Be Carefully Taught”: Justifying Affirmative Action after Croson and Adarand, 74 N.C. L. Rev. 1141 (1996).