Essay on affirmative action and equal protection

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Nor does a low score automatically disqualify an applicant. Instead, the admissions officials look beyond grades and test scores to other criteria that are considered important to the school's education objectives. Part of the answer is that back in say, , it looked as if an irresistibly powerful anti-affirmative-action wave might be sweeping the country. The decision provides what looks like a guarantee that affirmative action in admissions is now safe for another generation. Having it in writing—writing that has the force of law—is always a relief.

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Grutter believed this policy was illegal discrimination and filed suit against the university. Her suit was based on Bakke, which said that race and ethnicity could be taken into account, but quotas could not be used as part of an admissions policy. She believed the University of Michigan Law School affirmative action policy did use a quota system and therefore was unconstitutional. The district court ruled in favor of Grutter, but the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, so Grutter appealed to the Supreme Court.

Since the Bakke decision was so convoluted and did not give universities a clear set of guidelines, the Supreme Court decided it was time to revisit the issue. Universities can use affirmative action policies that consider race as long as it is done qualitatively along with other considerations to achieve diversity in the student body.

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A purely quantitative evaluation, as the point system used in the undergraduate program at the University of Michigan discussed here, is a violation of the equal protection clause and cannot be used. She said she hoped that one day affirmative action would no longer be needed in America, but believed it was still needed today. The Court is still closely divided on the issue. It is another one of those decisions for which you need a roadmap.

Scalia and Thomas also joined part of this decision. Ginsburg filed a concurring opinion and was joined by Breyer. Scalia filed an opinion that partially concurred, but also dissented to part of the opinion. Thomas also filed an opinion that concurred in part and dissented in part. Scalia and Thomas joined parts of each others opinions. FCC applied a more lenient standard of review in upholding two racial preference policies used by the FCC in the award of radio and television broadcast licenses.

Affirmative Action

These racial preferences—unlike the set-asides at issue in Fullilove — originated as administrative policies rather than statutory mandates. Metro Broadcasting was noteworthy for several other reasons as well. The distinction between federal and state power to apply racial classifications, however, proved ephemeral.

The Court ruled in Adarand Constructors, Inc. Pena that racial classifications imposed by federal law must be analyzed by the same strict scrutiny standard that is applied to evaluate state and local classifications based on race. The Court overruled Metro Broadcasting and, to the extent that it applied a review standard less stringent than strict scrutiny, Fullilove v.

The underlying principle, the Court explained, is that the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments protect persons, not groups. Bollinger , and Gratz v.

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In Grutter , the Court considered the admissions policy of the University of Michigan Law School, which requires admissions officials to evaluate each applicant based on all the information available in their file e. The Grutter Court found that student diversity provided significant benefits, not just to the students who might have otherwise not been admitted, but also to the student body as a whole.

Further, the Court emphasized the role of education in developing national leaders. Applicants with scores over were generally admitted, while those with scores of less than fell into categories that could result in either admittance, postponement, or rejection. Of particular interest to the Court was that an applicant would be entitled to 20 points based solely upon his or her membership in an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority group.

Affirmative Action: Should Race Be a Factor in College Admissions?

According to the majority opinion in Gratz , the undergraduate policy did not provide for such individualized consideration. The Court subsequently revisited the question of affirmative action in undergraduate education in its decision in Fisher v.


While institutions of higher education were striving to increase racial diversity in their student populations, state and local governments were engaged in a similar effort with respect to elementary and secondary schools. Whether this goal could be constitutionally achieved after Grutter and Gratz , however, remained unclear, especially as the type of individualized admission considerations found in higher education are less likely to have useful analogies in the context of public school assignments.

Thus, for instance, in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. In an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts, a majority of the Court in Parents Involved in Community Schools agreed that the plans before the Court did not include the kind of individualized considerations that had been at issue in the university admissions process in Grutter , but rather focused primarily on racial considerations. West Virginia, U.

Moreover it will not do to argue that a law that segregates the races or prohibits contacts between them discriminates equally against both races. Warley, U. Compare Pace v. Alabama, U.

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Florida, U. Virginia, U.

Hopkins, U. Rives, U. City of Boston, 59 Mass. Ferguson, U. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it. The act of Congress in providing for separate schools in the District of Columbia was specifically noted. There is no caste here. Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.

Rice, U. Richmond County Bd. Kentucky, U. Gaines v. Canada, U. See also Sipuel v. Board of Regents, U. Painter, U. Oklahoma State Regents, U. Segregation in the schools of the District of Columbia was held to violate the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment in Bolling v. Sharpe, U. Board of Education, U. Aaron, U. Edwards, F. Raleigh City Bd. Parham, F. Greensboro City Bd. School Board of Roanoke, F. Board of Pub. Instruction of Dade County, F. Board of Educ. Cahokia Bd. Prince Edward County School Bd. On school closing legislation in another State, see Bush v. Orleans Parish School Bd.

Helena Parish School Bd.

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Knoxville Bd. Such plans permitted as of right a student assigned to a school in which students of his race were a minority to transfer to a school where the student majority was of his race. City of Memphis, U. In Bradley v. School Bd. Latimer, U.

Affirmative Action and the Constitution

See Singleton v. Jackson Municipal Separate School Dist. HEW guidelines were designed to afford guidance to state and local officials in interpretations of the law and were accepted as authoritative by the courts and used. Davis v. Beasley, F. Gould Bd.

The Affirmative Of Affirmative Action Essay

These cases had been preceded by a circuit-wide promulgation of similar standards in United States v. Jefferson County Bd. School boards such as the respondent then operating state-compelled dual systems were nevertheless clearly charged with the affirmative duty to take whatever steps might be necessary to convert to a unitary system in which racial discrimination would be eliminated root and branch.

The case laid to rest the dictum of Briggs v. Elliott, F.