University of California v. Bakke. 1970s affirmative action program at UC Davis Medical School set a specific racial quota, setting aside 16% of its admits for minority applicantsRejected white applicant Allan Bakke sued, alleging that the quota violated his right to equal protection under the 14th AmendmentSupreme Court ruled in Bakke's favor, banning fixed racial quotas, but did allow schools to consider race as one factor among many in admissions decisions While the federal government and federal courts were urging private employers and state agencies to take "affirmative action" to increase minority hiring, America's colleges took the same approach to diversify their student bodies.
A decade after Brown, African-American enrollment in colleges had changed little. In 1955, only 4.9% of all college students, ages 18 to 24, were black. The University of California, Davis Medical School was among the schools that adopted a quota system to diversify its student body. Regents-of-the-University-of-California-v.-Bakke-1978. University of California v. Bakke. Regents of the University of California v. Bakke | Oyez. The Supreme Court . Expanding Civil Rights . Landmark Cases . Regents of University of California v. Bakke (1978) In Regents of University of California v. Bakke (1978), the Court ruled unconstitutional a university's use of racial "quotas" in its admissions process, but held that affirmative action programs could be constitutional in some circumstances.
Reproduction courtesy of the University of California Regents of University of California v. Bakke (1978) The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision written by Justice Lewis Franklin Powell, ruled that a state may constitutionally consider race as a factor in its university admissions to promote educational diversity, but only if considered alongside other factors and on a case-by-case basis. The Court also ruled, however, that the state "has a legitimate and substantial interest in ... eliminating ... the disabling effects of identified discrimination. " Regents of University of California v. Regents of the U. of California v. Bakke. " . . . Race or ethnic background may be deemed a "plus" in a particular applicant's file, yet it does not insulate the individual from comparison with all other candidates for the available seats.
" — Justice Powell, Speaking for the Court In the early 1970s, the medical school of the University of California at Davis devised a dual admissions program to increase representation of disadvantaged minority students. Allan Bakke was a white male who applied to and was rejected from the regular admissions program, while minority applicants with lower grade point averages and testing scores were admitted under the specialty admissions program. Bakke filed suit, alleging that this admissions system violated the Equal Protection Clause and excluded him on the basis of race.
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