A common concern regarding affirmative action is that it sanctions the selection of candidates whose qualifications are not the best overall and that this is inefficient or unjust or both. I argue that this concern is misguided, since there is no independent concern regarding qualifications with respect to the moral status of affirmative action. The only sense in which qualifications are not morally arbitrary—and the only sense in which there is a reason to select the most qualified candidate—is purely instrumental to the promotion of moral values whose fundamental concern is not qualifications.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
* I am grateful to Yoav Dotan, Barak Medina, Keren Weinshall-Margel, and the participants in the Public Law & Human Rights Workshop at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for helpful comments; to Naama Goldberg and Omry Levin for excellent research assistance; and to the Israel Science Foundation for its support (Grant 1148/13).
© 2019 The Author. Ratio Juris © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.