David Bernstein on Classified: The Untold Story of Racial Classification in America

David Bernstein on Classified: The Untold Story of Racial Classification in America

Whenever it comes to a vote, Americans reject the idea of racial classifications as a violation of our core founding principles. The founders railed against the old peerage system, where people were given special privileges based on the mere accident of their birth. And yet today we have to mark racial check boxes on various forms and applications to determine whether we are eligible for certain government privileges.

One of my first shows, when I started broadcasting over a decade ago, was with Ward Connerly — an African American businessman and former Regent of the University of California who led the ballot initiative to overturn affirmative action in California.

Professor David Bernstein of Law at George Mason University joined the show to bring me up to speed on the full history of policies like affirmative action, and how race is legally defined for the sake of fulfilling diversity criteria for hiring, admissions, small business grants and the like.

Bernstein’s book Classified: The Untold Story of Racial Classification in America, has already been listed among the picks for Randy Barnett’s “Recent Books on the Constitution” seminar at Georgetown.

Thus, this morning, we will not only be discussing the moral and legal dimensions of racial classification.

About David

  • Has been teaching Constitutional Law, Products Liability, and Evidence at George Mason University School of Law since 1995.
  • A contributor to The Volokh Conspiracy.
  • Former chairperson of the Association of American Law Schools Evidence section.