Michigan policy included race as one factor in admissions.
It was part of an effort to increase diversity.
Grutter is a white Michigan resident who was rejected with a 3.8 and 161 LSAT. She filed suit after her rejection.
SCOTUS held for Michigan- race can be one factor considered in law school admissions.
Can a state law school use race as a factor in student admissions?
A state law school can use race as a factor in student admissions because student body diversity is a compelling state interest that can justify the use of race in university admissions.
All racial classifications must be analyzed under strict scrutiny.
Such classifications are constitutional only if they are narrowly tailored to further compelling government interests.
Goal is to smoke out illegitimate uses of race by assuring that gov't is pursuing a goal important enough to warrant the use of a highly suspect tool.
We defer to the law school's educational judgment that diversity is essential to its educational mission.
The law school does not want to assure that some percentage of its student body is of specific racial or ethnic origin: this would be unconstitutional.
Instead, the law school's admission procedure is designed by referring to the educational benefits of diversity and that this weighing process is designed to produce.
Promotes cross-racial understanding, which are important and laudable interests.
Las schools are also training grounds for the nation's leaders in politics. School wants to cultivate a set of leaders with legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry. In order to do this, the path to leadership must be open to members of all races and ethnicities.
The means chosen must be specifically and narrowly tailored.
Cannot be a quota system.
But, can consider race or ethnicity as a "plus" in a particular applicant's file. This narrowly-tailored plan is what the admissions program here uses.
Goal of attaining a critical mass of minorities does not make the program a quota. Some attention to numbers does not transform a flexible admissions system into a quota.
Number of minority students varied from 13 to 20 percent over the last 7 years.
Law school doesn't just emphasize race as a "plus," it also takes into account other types of diversity such as family hardship, extensive travel, language fluency, community service, and other careers.
Frequently accepts non-minority applicants with lower scores than some minorities who were rejected.
Law school sufficiently considered race-neutral alternatives.
Would require a dramatic sacrifice of diversity or institutional integrity.
Narrow tailoring requires that a race-conscious admissions program not unduly harm members of any racial group. We are satisfied that the law school's admissions program does not do this.
However, race-conscious admissions programs must have reasonable durational limits and be reassessed to determine whether racial preferences are still necessary to achieve student body diversity.
We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.
Ginsburg, Breyer (concurring)
Minority students encounter markedly inadequate and unequal educational opportunities.
The critical mass justification is shown by admissions statistics to be a sham to cover a scheme of racially proportionate admissions.
The educational benefit that Michigan seeks to achieve is a less on of, not a lesson of the law. If it is appropriate for Michigan to use race discrimination to create a critical mass, it is no less appropriate for the civil service system of Michigan to do so.
I believe that blacks can achieve in every avenue of American life without the meddling of university administrators.
Court takes an approach inconsistent with strict scrutiny. They also say that racial discrimination will be illegal in 25 years. Therefore, the law school's use of race violates the EPC, because the Constitution will mean the same thing today as it will in 300 months.
There are undoubtedly other ways to better the education of law students aside from ensuring a "critical mass."
You have to take away a seat from someone else when you add one because of the unique "benefits" of race.
Marginal improvements in legal education do not qualify as a compelling state interest.
In addition, there is no evidence that these marginal improvements even exist.
Nowhere is there evidence that the beneficiaries of this discrimination prove themselves by performing at or near the same level as students who receive no preference.
When blacks take positions in the highest places of gov't, industry, or academia, it is an open question whether their skin color played a role in their advancement.
Does not meet strict scrutiny.
No race-specific reasons are given for the "disparities" in admissions between races.
The court does not apply strict scrutiny.
Deference is antithetical to strict scrutiny, not consistent with it, and the Court defers to the law schools' choice of minority admissions programs.