Affirmative Action Gets Its Day in Court: Michigan Ruling May Change Admissions Policies at Many Schools. (in the News)

Article excerpt

The United States Supreme Court agreed in early December to hear two University of Michigan cases regarding race consideration in the admissions process.

The long-running "reverse discrimination" cases stem from lawsuits brought by three white students who claim they were denied admission in Favor of "less qualified" black students in the mid-1990s. In one, Barbara Grutter was turned down from the U Michigan law school while in the second case Jennifer Gratz and Patrick Hamacher were denied by the larger College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

The outcome of the cases--the first time the high court has addressed affirmative action in admissions since 1978 (University of California vs. Bakke)--could spark sweeping changes in university admissions procedures.

U Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman warned of the consequences if the justices ruled against the school: "Now is not the time to turn back the clock. A ruling overturning Bakke could result in the immediate resegregation of our nation's top universities, both public and private. It also could limit our ability to provide support to minority students through financial aid, mentoring, and outreach programs. We have only to took at the impact on flagship campuses in Texas and California to see the effects that such a change in policy would bring. …


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