January 17, 2015
GRUTTER V. BOLLINGER
539 U.S. 206 (2003)
PLAINTIFF/PETITIONER: Barbara Grutter
DEFENDANT/ RESPONDENT: Lee C. Bollinger, Jr. / University of Michigan
The University of Michigan receives a high number of applicants each year to its College of Law. To help with admission decisions, the University has a point system in place. The point system is out of 100 points. A student that is from an underrepresented group automatically receives 20 points towards his or her overall score. These students are typically minority students. The Petitioner, Barbara Grutter, applied for admission to the Law School but was denied despite having an ...view middle of the document...
S. Constitution or the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
Trial Court: U.S. District Court = YES; Judgment granted to the Plaintiff
Court of Appeals: 6th Circuit Court = NO; Reversed the Trail Court decision, Judgment for the Defendant.
Supreme Court: USSC = NO; Affirmed the Appellate Court, Judgment for the Defendant.
Bollinger and the University of Michigan Win
1. Any time racial classifications are imposed by a governmental agency, they must be analyzed using a Strict Scrutiny standard. Such classifications will only pass constitutional muster if they are narrowly tailored and are designed to further a compelling government interest.
2. The consideration of race is not always equally objectionable. Strict Scrutiny is the standard because it requires a very careful examination of the importance and sincerity of the reasons advanced by a governmental agency for the use of race in a particular situation or circumstance
3. Every university should be free to exercise its own judgment regarding the selection and education of its student body. The Law School has a compelling interest in having a racially diverse student body. Its use of race in this case is in fact narrowly tailored in that it is used only as a plus factor in the context of individualized consideration of each and every applicant for admission. Race must not however, regardless of the circumstances, be the deciding factor. The use of any sort of quota system will always be illegal.