Affirmative Action and Racial Preference
Carl Cohen and James P. Sterba
Racial preferences are among the most contentious issues in our society, touching on fundamental questions of fairness and the proper role of racial categories in government action. In this volume, two contemporary philosophers, in a lively debate, lay out the arguments on each side. Carl Cohen, a key figure in the University of Michigan Supreme Court cases, argues that racial preferences are morally wrong--forbidden by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, and explicitly banned by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. James P. Sterba counters that, far from being banned by the Constitution and the civil rights acts, affirmative action is actually mandated by law in the pursuit of a society that is racially and sexually just.