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Lino A. Graglia (born January 22, 1930), Italian American, is the Dalton Cross Professor of Law at the University of Texas specializing in antitrust litigation. He earned a BA from the City College of New York in 1952, and an LLB from Columbia University in 1954, before working in the Eisenhower administration's United States Department of Justice. He thereafter practiced law in Washington, D.C. and New York City before joining the University of Texas' law school in 1966.
Graglia is "one of the most conservative legal academics in the United States." He is a well known critic of affirmative action and racial quotas, and a critic of some aspects of judicial review, believing that the courts are an illegitimate avenue for securing social change. He accuses modern liberals of making an end-run around democracy by seeking political victories in front of judges instead of at the ballot box.
His wife, F. Carolyn Graglia, is an author who has written a book critical of feminism entitled Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism.
In the mid-1980s, Graglia was considered by President Ronald Reagan for a newly created federal judgeship on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, but he eventually was withdrawn in late spring 1986 due to controversy over articles Graglia had written about desegregation busing as well as remarks Graglia made which were alleged to be racially insensitive. The following year, Reagan nominated Jerry Edwin Smith to the seat to which Graglia had been nominated, and Smith was confirmed easily.
Graglia became controversial when he made a speech on UT campus in 1997 in which he noted that "blacks and Mexican-Americans can't compete academically with whites." The speech was at a meeting of the Students for Equal Opportunity on the topic of the Hopwood v. Texas case, which ended discrimination against UT Law applicants who were not members of a designated 'minority' group. The comment was widely reported and generated discussions across the country.
In an article titled The Affirmative Action Fraud, published in 1999 in the Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law, Graglia cited The Bell Curve, a book by professor Richard J. Herrnstein and American Enterprise Institute political scientist Charles Murray, to assert the following: