At the very least, the constancy of admitted minority students and the close correlation between the racial breakdown of admitted minorities and the composition of the applicant pool, discussed by The Chief Justice, ante, at 3-9, require the Law School either to produce a convincing explanation or to show it has taken adequate steps to ensure individual assessment. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, writing for the majority, held that the U.S. Constitution “does not prohibit the law school’s narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body.” The university’s policy carefully avoided using any quotas, and all applicants were given the same “individualized” and “holistic” review. This problem of stigma does not depend on determinacy as to whether those stigmatized are actually the "beneficiaries" of racial discrimination. In the wake of our fractured decision in Bakke, courts have struggled to discern whether Justice Powell's diversity rationale, set forth in part of the opinion joined by no other Justice, is nonetheless binding precedent under Marks. We take the Law School at its word that it would "like nothing better than to find a race-neutral admissions formula" and will terminate its race-conscious admissions program as soon as practicable. It has been 25 years since Justice Powell first approved the use of race to further an interest in student body diversity in the context of public higher education. But respondents offer no race-specific reasons for such disparities. Frederick Douglass, speaking to a group of abolitionists almost 140 years ago, delivered a message lost on today's majority: "[I]n regard to the colored people, there is always more that is benevolent, I perceive, than just, manifested towards us. The Law School's claim of a compelling interest is further bolstered by its amici, who point to the educational benefits that flow from student body diversity. Id., at 4 (noting that the Law School's goals have been "greatly furthered by the presence of ... a 'critical mass' of " minority students in the student body). on writ of certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the sixth circuit [june 23, 2003] v. Bakke, 438 U. S. 265, 299 (1978) (opinion of Powell, J.) v. Bakke, 438 U. S. 265 (1978). Third, Justice Powell rejected an interest in "increasing the number of physicians who will practice in communities currently underserved," concluding that even if such an interest could be compelling in some circumstances the program under review was not "geared to promote that goal." See Sweatt v. Painter, supra, at 634. The perpetuation, of course, would be the worst of all outcomes. Cal. These overmatched students take the bait, only to find that they cannot succeed in the cauldron of competition. The fourth dissenter, writing separately, found it unnecessary to decide whether diversity was a compelling interest because, like the other dissenters, he believed that the Law School's use of race was not narrowly tailored to further that interest. Ante, at 21. The majority fails to confront the reality of how the Law School's admissions policy is implemented. + Grutter v Bollinger: A Landmark Case The Grutter case affirmed and refined the Supreme Courts position on affirmative action a quarter century after its initial decision in Regents of University of California v. Bakke (1978). decisions. as Amici Curiae 12-13 (law school admissions programs employ "methods designed from and based on Justice Powell's opinion in Bakke"); Brief for Amherst College et al. Ibid. Second, Justice Powell rejected an interest in remedying societal discrimination because such measures would risk placing unnecessary burdens on innocent third parties "who bear no responsibility for whatever harm the beneficiaries of the special admissions program are thought to have suffered." Individuals with law degrees occupy roughly half the state governorships, more than half the seats in the United States Senate, and more than a third of the seats in the United States House of Representatives. It is true that some language in those opinions might be read to suggest that remedying past discrimination is the only permissible justification for race-based governmental action. In an initial opinion, Justice Kennedy agreed with CIR and ruled that even after Grutter courts may not punt on applying rigid constitutional analysis. Nearly everyone believes in the value of diversity, including racial diversity. Id., at 5 (claiming that the Law School has enrolled "critical mass," or "enough minority students to provide meaningful integration of its classrooms and residence halls"). decisions. 438 U. S., at 317-318. Ante, at 17; see also Bakke, 438 U. The Law School has the burden of proving, in conformance with the standard of strict scrutiny, that it did not utilize race in an unconstitutional way. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, ratified by the United States in 1994, see State Dept., Treaties in Force 422-423 (June 1996), endorses "special and concrete measures to ensure the adequate development and protection of certain racial groups or individuals belonging to them, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms." At the time Gratz applied, the University analyzed prospective applicants under a grid system. In addition to the expert studies and reports entered into evidence at trial, numerous studies show that student body diversity promotes learning outcomes, and "better prepares students for an increasingly diverse workforce and society, and better prepares them as professionals." respondents, the Michigan Law School and its officials. Universities can, however, consider race or ethnicity more flexibly as a "plus" factor in the context of individualized consideration of each and every applicant. Jump to navigation Jump to search. See Qualified Student 155-168 (Columbia); H. Broun & G. Britt, Christians Only: A Study in Prejudice 53-54 (1931) (Harvard). deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The for Cert. Tr. It is uncontested that each year, the Law School admits a handful of blacks who would be admitted in the absence of racial discrimination. The Law School, however, apparently believes that only a racially mixed student body can lead to the educational benefits it seeks. The percentage of minority offers, however, at no point fell below 12%, historically defined by the Law School as the bottom of its critical mass range.

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