Michigan Affirmative Action Case

Essay by aznXsa2587 November 2006

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On Monday, the Supreme Court upheld the use of race in admissions decisions by the University of Michigan Law School. At the same time, it struck down the undergraduate level affirmative action program. The University of Michigan cases are the most significant test of affirmative action to reach the court in 25 years. The high court last ruled in 1978, in the Bakke case dealing with affirmative action in higher education admissions.

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that the law school's admissions policy was constitutional. In the law school case, the court found that students were considered on an individual basis from their entire file. The school used the term "critical mass" to increase the numbers of minority students, because there was no number or quota used.

In a 6-3 ruling, the court voted down the admission policy in the undergraduate school. In this case a point system was given to minority students, making it unconstitutional.

While this is not exactly a quota system, the court ruled against this case because the points were not given out on an individual basis.


Personally, I believe that minorities should be given a special break in school admissions. For that matter, I think that poor people should also be given the same break. The Supreme Court took away more rights from minorities this week and set the stage for even more in the future. You know, that the more conservative the court becomes, the sooner we will see the end of many rights. I grew up in a time when people were given more rights and protections and now those protections are slipping away. I have a difficult time understanding why conservatives are not more compassionate. Both sides in these cases claimed that the court went their...