Randall Kennedy is the Michael R. Klein Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he teaches courses on contracts, criminal law, and the regulation of race relations. He served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and the U.S. Supreme Court. Awarded the 1998 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Race, Crime, and the Law (1998), Kennedy writes for a wide range of scholarly and general interest publications. His most recent books are For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law (2013) and The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency (2011). He is a member of the American Law Institute, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association.
More About Randall Kennedy
Having snubbed outstanding black scholars in previous eras, the American Academy and similar organizations are using blacks like me to make amends and to serve other functions. I do not feel belittled by this. Nor am I wracked by angst or guilt or self-doubt.
A very strong argument can be made that affirmative action helps us. It helps us on our way towards reaching a state of affairs in which we can say that all persons actually enjoy the equal protection of the law.
Kennedy accounts for the slipperiness of the term affirmative action, delves into the complex and surprising legal history of the policy, and analyzes key arguments pro and con advanced by the left and right.