5 Geo. J. L. & Mod. Critical Race Persp. 139 (2013)
Reaction To: Asian Americans and Affirmative Action: Why Affirming Affirmative Action Won't Hurt the Model Minority

handle is hein.journals/gjmodco5 and id is 155 raw text is: Reaction to: Asian Americans and Affirmative Action:
Why Affirming Affirmative Action Won't Hurt
The Model Minority
LILIAN M. LOH*
In Asian Americans and Affrinative Action: Through the Study of Fisher v. Uni-
versity of Texas, Yena Lee endeavors to survey the current implementation of
affirmative action in higher education admissions and the potential impacts of the
Fisher decision on Asian Americans. Yet, Lee does little to address either topic.
What Lee reviews instead is how Asian Americans are hurt by current affirmative
action policies and the model minority stereotype. Lee proposes that the affirmative
action process should distinguish Asian subgroups that do not fit the model minority
stereotype from those that do. However, this solution is already in effect, which
weakens Lee's foundation for why affirmative action hurts Asian Americans.
Boiled down to the basics, the Supreme Court's decision in Fisher' will decide if
race can be used as a factor in public university admissions decisions. Although the
case does not involve an Asian American party, the Court has engaged in substantial
discussion of how Asian Americans are affected by current affirmative action poli-
cies. Lee points out that Asian American organizations have contributed amicus
briefs to both sides, but many more Asian American organizations support affirma-
tive action, and with good reason.' The legitimacy of affirmative action policies is
based on the production of diverse student bodies.4 Admitted Asian American stu-
dents benefit from a diverse campus. When there are substantial numbers of Asian
Americans admitted through the regular admissions process, the goal of attaining
such diversity is not furthered by admitting more Asian Americans through the
affirmative action process. The argument that it is unfair to keep Asian American
numbers artificially low has some merit, but Lee does not make this point.
Instead, Lee argues that even if the Court affirms Grutter5 and affirmative action
remains constitutional, these policies are currently not beneficial for Asian Americans
* Cornell Law School, 2013 Juris Doctor candidate. Thank you to JT and AW for this opportunity
C 2013, Lilian M. Loh.
1. Fisher v. Univ. of Tex., 631 F.3d 213 (5th Cir. 2011), cert. granted, 80 U.S.L.W. 34-5 (U.S. Feb. 21,
2012) (No. 11-345).
2. See Transcript of Oral Argument at 52, Fisher v. Univ. of Tex. 80 U.S.L.W. 3475 (U.S. Feb. 21, 2012)
(No. 11-345) (' [H]ow do you justify lumping together all Asian Americans?).
3. See Khin Mai Aung, Letter to the Editor: Diverse Asian Applicants, N.Y. TIMES, Nov. 12, 2012, avail-
able at http://www.nvtimes.com/2012/11/12/opinion/diverse-asian-applicants.html (Nearly 100 Asian-
American organizations signed onto amicus briefs supporting the university, while a scant five Asian-
American groups signed onto briefs supporting the plaintiff'). See also Terry Baynes, Asian-American rift over
Supreme Coutafirmaieaction case, REUTERS, Aug. 14, 2012, http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/14/
us-supreme-court-fisher-idUSBRE87D10V20120814 (The last time the Supreme Court took up the issue,
in 2003, at least 28 different Asian-American advocacy groups signed onto briefs in defense of the University
of Michigan Law School's use of race in admissions.).
4. See Regents of the Univ. of Cal. v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265, 311-12 (1978).
5. Grutterv. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003).

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