Bakke's Fate

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Bakke, it seems, now hangs by a thread. Will the thread hold? Should it? To answer these questions, we must reconsider various possible meanings of the concept of "affirmative action," a phrase that today conjures up images of everything from set-asides for government contractors to diversity programs for college students. In this Article, we propose that these two particular domains be analyzed separately. In the former, affirmative action guarantees minority firms "a piece of the action" in getting government business. In the latter, affirmative action brings young adults from diverse backgrounds together into a democratic dialogue where they will learn from each other.

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