Gail Heriot, that’s who. Gail is professor of law at the University of San Diego School of Law, and a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Needless to say, she does a lot of work on civil rights law. A great example of her work is “The Sad Irony of Affirmative Action,” which appeared a year ago in the National Interest. But there’s lots more. Our cameras caught up with Gail in Chicago this morning. (Extra credit points for identifying a certain well-known journalist who wanders by in the background.)
PAUL ADDS: Power Line reads Gail Heriot too. I first did so during the fight over Prop 209 in the mid-1990s. Professor Heriot was a leader in that electorally successful campaign to amend the California constitution to prohibit state government institutions from considering race, sex, or ethnicity in public employment, public contracting or public education.
In the recent piece in National Affairs that Steve refers to, Heriot focuses on the problem of “mismatch.” This is the phenomenon whereby, in a regime of racial preferences, minority students tend to enroll in colleges and universities where their entering academic credentials put them toward the bottom of the class. As Heriot explains, “when the most prestigious schools relax their admissions policies in order to admit more minority students, they start a chain reaction” that results in “a substantial credentials gap at nearly all selective schools.”
If I recall correctly, Heriot warned of this potential problem during the Prop 209 debate. More recently, Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor have shown that mismatch is, indeed, a very unfortunate outgrowth of racial preferences in college admissions.