Affirmative Action and the Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court The US Supreme Court In the section of the textbook dealing with government, it is made clear that the Supreme Court is extremely powerful compared with courts in most other countries. It can interpret the Constitution in ways that make it necessary for the national and state governments to change their way of doing things. One example of this is the Supreme Court’s rulings about Affirmative Action. 

Affirmative Action means political programs which aim at giving previously disadvantaged groups special and positive treatment (thus “affirmative”) to help make up for past wrongs. Through the years the court has made several rulings about this, not always the same. 

Complete the following activity and present your findings as an essay, a poster or a report to the class.



  1. Write a short history of the rulings about Affirmative Action that the Supreme Court has made since the 1970s, including the most recent rulings.
  2. What are the arguments for and against affirmative action?
  3. Do you think the practice is fair or unfair?