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The Death of Affirmative Action?Racialized Framing and the Fight Against Racial Preference in College Admissions$
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J. Scott Carter and Cameron Lippard

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529201116

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529201116.001.0001

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Case Study 1: The Gratz and Grutter Supreme Court Cases against the University of Michigan

Case Study 1: The Gratz and Grutter Supreme Court Cases against the University of Michigan

(p.115) 5 Case Study 1: The Gratz and Grutter Supreme Court Cases against the University of Michigan
The Death of Affirmative Action?

J. Scott Carter

Cameron D. Lippard

Policy Press

The purpose of this chapter is to understand arguments put forth by these social authorities (individuals and groups) in support and opposition to affirmative action within a prominent debate on affirmative action in higher education admissions. We are particularly interested in advocacy groups that have the ability and resources not afforded to most individuals to lobby the Supreme Court. We used the Gratz v. Bollinger et al. and Grutter v. Bollinger et al. U.S. Supreme Court cases as the site of the first case study. We look at how these entities deployed specific arguments and rhetoric within court documents to frame affirmative action to Supreme Court Justices. In particular, while all frames were considered, we look at two discursive frames prominent in the literature and how they were used by supporters and opponents of the policy: color-blind and threat frames. Findings demonstrate that while supporters often used color-blind arguments (and some threat as well), the opponent briefs were saturated with both color-blind frames.

Keywords:   Gratz v. Bollinger et al, Grutter v. Bollinger et al, Color-blind Racism, Abstract Liberalism, Group Threat, Group Positioning

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