Sander and Taylor also argue that a requirement that admissions be race-blind could provoke either a powerful campaign of “massive resistance” by higher-education officials or a more secret and subtle effort to circumvent the law. Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity and the nation’s most tireless advocate for the classic liberal position, which opposes all benefits on the basis of skin color, provides a compelling answer. “No legal prohibition is 100 percent effective,” Clegg says. “The question is, will we be better off with a ban than without one? With a ban, the California data tell us, there will be some evasion but much less discrimination. . . . It makes no sense to allow the stubbornness of race-discriminators to defeat the law.”
Although Sander and Taylor would not ban race from consideration, they would cut back on racial preferences by mandating that they be no larger than those given to students from families with low socioeconomic status (SES). They are disturbed that our most selective colleges and universities are overwhelmingly populated by students from affluent, highly educated families. “A very elite, very rich school that produces good outcomes for nearly all its students could continue using substantial racial preferences as long as its SES preferences were just as substantial,” the authors write.