Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

George Thomas

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.


In my analysis of affirmative action policy, I began the search without having formed any opinion whatsoever. The topic was interesting to me, and after reading a mass of news editorials and their op-eds, I decided to take up the argument for myself. Other than the fact that I am a student, I have no stake in affirmative action policy. This paper relies primarily on the foremost half-dozen or so notable mismatch theory scholars, a close reading of an innumerable number of Supreme Court opinions, affirmative action related studies from higher education academics and policy institutes, and how historical executive actions in particular have shaped the past, present, and now the future of affirmative action policy. So, it is with the past that we begin


This thesis delves into the mismatch theory surrounding affirmative action, and analyzes it from an originalist constitutional and political consequentialist perspective, offering several avenues for reform at the end of the work. It lightly touches on political theory and the constitutionality of class-based affirmative action as well.