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Regents of UC v. Bakke

438 U.S. 265 (1978)

tl;dr: Race-based quota in public school admissions is unconstitutional violation of equal protection.

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Regents of the University of California v. Bakke was a 1978 Supreme Court case that challenged the Medical School of the University of California at Davis' special admissions program, which aimed to admit a specific number of students from certain minority groups. The California court ruled that the program violated the California Constitution, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court of California affirmed the ruling and directed the trial court to order the admission of the respondent. Justice Powell wrote the majority opinion agreeing with the California court's ruling that the special admissions program is unlawful and that the respondent should be admitted to the Medical School. However, the author disagrees with the portion of the court's judgment that enjoins the petitioner from considering race in its admissions process. The case is significant for its impact on affirmative action policies in higher education. Allan Bakke, a white male, applied to the Davis Medical School in 1973 and 1974 but was rejected both times. He filed a lawsuit alleging that the special admissions program operated as a racial and ethnic quota, violating his rights under the Equal Protection Clause, California Constitution, and Civil Rights Act. The trial court found the program to be a racial quota and declared it unconstitutional but refused to order Bakke's admission. The California Supreme Court ordered Bakke's admission to the Medical School, which was stayed pending review by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider the constitutional issue and requested supplementary briefing on the applicability of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The court is considering whether a private right of action exists under Title VI.

Title VI prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in federally funded programs. The Davis special admissions program violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by limiting white applicants to 84 seats while minority applicants have access to 100 seats, based on race and ethnic status. Harvard's admissions program considers race as a factor among other criteria, but does not set target-quotas for any particular group to be admitted. Title VI prohibits the use of federal funds to support racial discrimination and allows for termination of financial support for any activity that violates the Constitution's antidiscrimination provisions. Affirmative action can include the use of racial preferences if the services and benefits of a program are not equally available to certain racial or nationality groups. Congress did not intend to prohibit the consideration of race as a remedy for societal discrimination, even if there is no evidence of past discrimination or judicial finding of adverse effects of societal discrimination on the beneficiaries of the preference.

The Davis program is valid because it remedies past discrimination and addresses underrepresentation of minorities in medicine. The use of race in the program is constitutional and not discriminatory. Affirmative action is necessary to address the tension between idealistic equality and the original Fourteenth Amendment tension. The responsibility for admission programs to higher education institutions lies with academicians and administrators, not the judiciary. The lower court's judgment must be affirmed based on the plain language of Section 601 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in any program receiving federal financial assistance. The University violated Title VI by discriminating against Bakke based on his race, and the court upheld the judgment for Bakke's admission to the University.

IRACIssue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion

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Facts & Holding

Facts:UC Davis Med School reserved 16/100 places in its entering...

Holding:Powell considered Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of...

Regents of UC v. Bakke

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