Two Approaches to Equality, with Implications for Grutter


The question “what is equality?”, applied to the distribution of resources across races, suggests the following answer: when there appears to be no need for a policy that focuses on improving the welfare of one race relative to another. There is another way to approach the same question: equality is when traditionally-recognized paths to advancement do not give preference to or disadvantage an individual because of his race. Notice the difference here is between end-state and process-based notions of equality, a distinction Nozick emphasized in his examination of justice in distribution. Nozick rejected end-state theories of justice in distribution. I side with Nozick’s approach and argue that the only morally justifiable and administratively feasible approach to determining equality in the distribution of resources across races is through a process-based definition. I explore the implications of this argument for Grutter v. Bollinger.