RACIAL DIVERSITY: Eric Muller is guest-blogging over at the Volokh Conspiracy, and has written a post that touches on the issue of racial diversity and affirmative action. I've emailed him a couple of questions regarding his position, and thought I'd post them here:
... Near the end of your post you write that "my own personal experience of teaching for four years at a racially homogeneous law school (the University of Wyoming) and now at a racially integrated one UNC) tells me that racial diversity does in fact contribute importantly to full and rigorous discussion and debate in a law school classroom."
1. In your mind, then, is affirmative action justified solely on your perception that it contributes to fuller and more rigorous discussion and debate? That is, is it immaterial to you that many (most?) affirmative action programs have been built around the belief that some groups have been unfairly discriminated against in the past, and are thus unable to compete on a level playing field?
2. Would you support other preferential admission systems that could also arguably improve the quality of the discussion and debate at a school? For instance, preferences based on religion or political affiliation could be justified under this criteria at least as easily as preferences based on skin color. Similarly, would you support hiring policies that gave preference to applicants who are members of under-represented political groups or religions?
Diversity of all kinds is important to our society, and I think it's unfortunate that when diversity is mentioned people often only think of race.