Professor Assails Anti-Bias Program

Professor Assails Anti-Bias Program
An unlikely critic says his new study shows that affirmative action hurts
black law students.
By Stuart Silverstein
Times Staff Writer

November 15, 2004

UCLA law professor Richard H. Sander, author of a controversial new study concluding that affirmative action hurts black law school students, generally seems an unlikely candidate to challenge a leading liberal cause.

Sander, 48, is a soft-spoken former VISTA volunteer who for years has studied housing discrimination and championed efforts to fight segregation in Los Angeles. A self-described “pragmatic progressive” who supported John Kerry for president, Sander also promoted a local program in the 1990s to help the working poor win more federal aid.

One factor, he said, is the educational future of his 14-year-old son, Robert. University affirmative action could play a role in Robert’s life because his racial background is mixed: Sander is white and Robert’s mother, Sander’s first wife, is black.

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