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Gratz v. Bollinger

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 539 U.S. 244.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Admission criteria based on race must be narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling interest. Race may be considered in an individual assessment, but not as a sole or contributing factor for admission.

Facts. The University of Michigan receives a high volume of applicants each year to its College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LSA). To help with admission decisions, the University implements a point system. This point system is out of 100 points. A student that is from an underrepresented group automatically receives 20 points towards his or her over all score. The groups of students typically come from African-American, Hispanic, and Native American backgrounds. A student with extraordinary artistic talent only receives 5 points under the admission system. Also every student that is from an underrepresented group, and is otherwise qualified, is typically accepted into the school. A group of white student’s, that were determined qualified by the University, where denied admission.

Issue. Whether a School’s admission policy to automatically grant 20 out of 100 points to students of a minority ethnicity is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.

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