The Public Interest

The false promise of compromise

David P. Bryden

Winter 1998

DESPITE the furor generated by Proposition 209 and the Hopwood decision, the current reevaluation of racial preferences is unlikely to produce a complete victory for either side of the affirmative-action debate.  Compromise positions are enormously attractive, either because the issue is thought to be genuinely difficult, or because powerful groups on both sides need to be conciliated, or because in the particular context of the Supreme Court, unique institutional factors are involved.

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