The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on affirmative action gave a reprieve to the use of race in higher education enrollment decisions. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the 7-1 majority, underscored the value of diversity but was clear that use of affirmative action to promote diversity and maintain a level playing field had to pass the “strict scrutiny” test.
Washington state voters in 1998 passed Initiative 200, banning state governments, including public institutions of higher education, from considering race.
As I noted in my Friday column, our public universities and colleges have been successful building diverse campuses. But given the fast-growing minority populations in Washington state, it is worth asking whether our state is hindered by having a law at odds with the rest of the country. Agree or disagree?