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Regents of the University of California v. Bakke

Uploaded by Radiohack on Nov 16, 2001

Established in 1968, the medical school at the University of California implemented a special admissions program to increase the representation of minorities in each entering class. There was one underlying problem with their special admissions program that was not addressed until 1973 when Allan Bakke submitted his application to the University of California.

Their special admissions program worked by reserving sixteen percent of the entering class for minorities. The minorities entering through this special admissions program were processed and interviewed separately from the regular applicants. The grade point averages and standardized test scores from the special-admissions entrants were significantly lower than the grade point averages and standardized test scores of the regular entrants, including our dear friend Allan Bakke.

In 1973 Allan Bakke applied to the medical school at the University of California. His application was rejected because it was turned in near the end of the year and by the time his application was up for consideration they were only accepting those who had scored 470 or better on their interview scores. Bakke had only scored a 468 out of the possible 500. When he learned that four of the special-admissions spots were left unfilled at the time his application was rejected he wrote a letter to Dr. George H. Lowrey, the associate dean and chairman of the admissions committee, stating how the special admissions system was unjust and prejudiced.

When Bakke applied again in 1974 he was once again rejected. This time Bakke sued the University of California. His position was that the school had excluded him on the basis of his race and violated his rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the California Constitution, and civil rights legislation. The trial court ruled in Bakke’s favor, however they did not order the University of California to admit him. Bakke appealed to the California Supreme Court where they ruled that the school’s admissions programs were unconstitutional and ordered the school to admit Bakke as a student.

The school appealed this decision and brought it to the Supreme Court to argue their case on October 12th 1977. The Supreme Court upheld the California Supreme Court’s decision with a 5-4 vote. The Court also ruled that the special-admissions program constituted reverse discrimination and was therefore illegal. The Court also said that schools could continue to look at race as a factor when accepting applicants, but they could not set up a...

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Uploaded by:   Radiohack

Date:   11/16/2001

Category:   American History

Length:   2 pages (541 words)

Views:   2372

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