In Justice, read Bernstein, “Racial Discrimination or Righting Past Wrongs?” 237-240; Morley, "Double Reverse Discrimination" 256-261; Brus, "Proxy War: Liberals Denounce Racial Profiling. Conservatives Denounce Affirmative Action. What’s the Difference?" 261-262.
2.) Read and Write
At “Preview Links” click on “Merit Briefs”. Then click on Fischer v. University of Texas at Austin, 11-345
Read all the merit briefs of the Petitioner and Respondent and the Reply Brief for Petitioner.
Read the following Amici Briefs for the Petitioner:
Brief of Scholars of Economics and Statistics
Brief for the American Center for Law and Justice in Support of Petitioner
Brief for the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law et al
Read the following Amici Briefs for the Respondent:
Brief for the National Association of Basketball Coaches
Brief of American Social Science Researchers
www.supremecourt.gov Click on “oral arguments”
Read the Transcript of Oral Argument of 10/10/12 or listen to the recording
Create a list of the key issues raised in the briefs and in the oral argument (by attorneys or by judges.) Indicate the position of Petitioner and Respondent to each of the issues.
Read Rawls, A Theory of Justice, pp. 203-221 and 223-226; Nozick, pp. 60-73 and 226-235.
Write responses to the following–
1. Must the government stop trying to make poor people less poor, and sick people less sick, and so on, or is it possible to maintain a desirable pattern without restricting people’s liberty to do what they want with what they own?
2. Even if it’s not possible to maintain a desirable pattern without restricting liberty somewhat, is Robert Nozick right to think that people should have the liberty to do whatever they want with the things they own?
3. Are minimum wage laws really unjust?
4. Is it permissible for the government to block companies from forming a monopoly?
5. Is redistributive taxation really like forced labor? Is forced labor a kind of slavery and, thus, rich people become like slaves? In what sense yes and/or no?
6. What about unjust historical transfers? Many things owned today were stolen from someone a long time ago. What should be done about that?
7. Rawls’s first principle says that everyone should have an equal chance to influence legislation and political affairs. However, today wealthy individuals and corporations exercise much more influence on the government and the laws than the average citizen might. Is this unjust?
8. Rawls’ second principle says that people who are equally talented and equally motivated should have equal chances of success. Suppose that providing equal educational opportunity for all children would require substantial taxes on the rich. Do you think that such taxes are required as a matter of justice?
9) According to Kant, morality is doing the right thing just because you know it is right to do so. Kant imagines a person, who is naturally sweet and kind and loving. She always does the right thing, but only because being good brings her pleasure. Kant thinks, therefore, that these actions do not show that she is morally worthy. Do you agree? Why or why not?
10) Kant thinks that every rational human being has dignity, and that everyone’s worth is infinite. What do you think? Do murderers have dignity?
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