Higher Education

Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America - Podcast

Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
Sheryll D. Cashin, Roger B. Clegg September 17, 2014

Race-based affirmative action had been declining as a factor in university admissions even before the recent spate of related cases arrived at the Supreme Court. Since the mid-1990s, the percentage of four-year public colleges that consider racial or ethnic status in admissions has fallen from 60 percent to 35 percent. Only 45 percent of private colleges still explicitly consider race, with elite schools more likely to do so, although they too have retreated. Law school professor and civil rights activist Sheryll Cashin believes that this isn’t entirely bad news, because, as she argues, affirmative action as currently practiced does little to help disadvantaged people. The truly disadvantaged are not getting the quality schooling they need in part because backlash and wedge politics undermine any possibility for common-sense public policies. Using place instead of race in diversity programming, she writes, will better amend the structural disadvantages endured by many children of color, while enhancing the possibility that we might one day move past the racial resentment that affirmative action engenders. In Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America, Professor Cashin reimagines affirmative action and champions place-based policies, arguing that college applicants who have thrived despite exposure to neighborhood or school poverty are deserving of special consideration.

Failing Law Schools? - Podcast

Professional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice Group Podcast
Brian Z. Tamanaha, James A. Haynes May 08, 2014

Failing Law Schools

Washington University in Saint Louis School of Law Professor Brian Z. Tamanaha argues law schools are failing abjectly. Recent front-page stories have detailed widespread practices, including false reporting of LSAT and GPA scores, misleading placement reports, and the fundamental failure to prepare graduates to enter the profession.

Addressing all these problems and more in his book, Failing Law Schools, Prof. Tamanaha lays out the how and why of the crisis and the likely consequences if these trends continue. The out-of-pocket cost of obtaining a law degree at many schools now approaches $200,000. The legal job market is the worst in decades, with the scarce jobs offering starting salaries well below what is needed to handle such a debt load. At the heart of the problem, Prof. Tamanaha argues, are the economic demands and competitive pressures on law schools, paired with a lack of regulatory oversight, the work environment of professors, the limited information available to prospective students, and loan-based tuition financing. Bringing to the table his years of experience from within the legal academy, Prof. Tamanaha assesses what he believes is wrong with law schools and suggests how to fix them. James Haynes of the Federalist Society's Professional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice Group Executive Committee discussed the book and its premises with Prof. Tamanaha.


  • Professor Brian Z. Tamanaha, William Gardiner Hammond Professor of Law, Israel Treiman Faculty Fellow 2013-2014, Washington University School of Law
  • James A. Haynes, Professional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice Group, The Federalist Society

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The Twilight of Race-Based Preferences in College Admissions - Event Audio/Video

Michigan Lawyers Chapter
Trevor W. Coleman, Mark Fancher, Jennifer Gratz, Hans A. von Spakovsky, Henry Payne, Matthew G. Davis, Penelope S. Williams March 11, 2014

The Twilight of Race-Based Preferences in College Admissions - Event Audio/VideoThe Michigan Lawyers Chapter hosted this event on February 12, 2014, at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan.


  • Mr. Trevor Coleman, Author and Speechwriter
  • Mr. Mark Fancher, ACLU of Michigan
  • Ms. Jennifer Gratz, XIV Foundation
  • Mr. Hans von Spakovsky, Heritage Foundation
  • Moderator: Mr. Henry Payne, The Detroit News
  • Introduction: Mr. Matthew G. Davis, Communications Chair, Michigan Lawyers Chapter
  • Introduction: Ms. Penelope Williams, President, Thomas M. Cooley Student Chapter

Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Lansing, MI

Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action Oral Argument Courthouse Steps - Podcast

Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
Robert Driscoll, Jennifer Gratz, Dean A. Reuter October 17, 2013

Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action Oral Argument  Courthouse Steps - Podcast On Tuesday, October 15, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. The case stems from a November 2006 election in which a majority of Michigan voters supported a proposition to amend the state constitution to prohibit “all sex- and race-based preferences in public education, public employment, and public contracting.” The day after the proposition passed, a collection of interest groups and individuals formed the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigration Rights and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary (Coalition). The Coalition sued the governor and the regents and boards of trustees of three state universities in district court, arguing that the proposition as it related to public education violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. ‎Jennifer Gratz, founder and CEO of the XIV Foundation and the lead plaintiff in the affirmative action case Gratz v. Bollinger, and Robert Driscoll, Friedlander Misler PLLC, attended the oral arguments and offered their impressions to a Teleforum audience.


  • Ms. Jennifer Gratz, Founder and CEO, XIV Foundation
  • Mr. Robert Driscoll, Partner, Friedlander Misler, PLLC
  • Moderator: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President and Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society

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Debate on Fisher and Shelby County - Podcast

Civil Rights Practice Group, American Constitution Society, and National Constitution Center Podcast
Erwin Chemerinsky, Roger B. Clegg, Jeffrey Rosen June 28, 2013

Debate on Fisher and Shelby County - PodcastThe Federalist Society co-sponsored a Teleforum call with the National Constitution Center and the American Constitution Society to discuss the Supreme Court's decisions in the Fisher affirmative action case and the Shelby County Voting Rights Act case.  On this previously recorded conference call, Roger Clegg, President and CEO of the Center for Equal Opportunity, Erwin Chemerinsky, Founding Dean of the University of California, Irvine, School of Law, and Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, discuss the opinions and their implications.


  • Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, Founding Dean, University of California, Irvine School of Law
  • Mr. Roger Clegg, President and General Counsel, Center for Equal Opportunity
  • Moderator: Prof. Jeffrey Rosen, George Washington University Law School, and President and Chief Executive Officer, National Constitution Center

[Listen now!]