Racism in Michigan University Essay
The policy of Michigan University provided for a race as a consideration in admissions. This policy aimed at increasing diversity in the university. Ms. Barbara Grutter, a white Michigan resident with 161 LSAT and 3.8 grades, applied for admission to the university.
The university rejected her application because of her race. Ms. Grutter filed an action for discrimination on the grounds of race, contrary to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fourteenth Amendment. The university argued that it did not apply a quota system but only pursued a critical mass of marginalized minority groups.
Was the use of a racially discriminatory program in the university admissions a violation of the constitutional safeguards against discrimination?
Holding of the opinion
The court held that the affirmative action initiative by Michigan University was constitutional. The majority opinion was that a state law school might use racial preference in student admissions because the diversity of the student body is a necessary state interest.
Thus, the court concluded that the admissions process by the school was adequately personalized and holistic to satisfy compelling state interest standards. Rehnquist CJ, Scalia J, Kennedy J, and Thomas J gave dissent opinion. Rehnquist and Kennedy argued that the use of race preference as a factor for school admission violated the Equal Protection Clause.
The court made its decision in line with Powell J’s concurrent opinion in Regents of the University of California v Bakke that permitted racial discrimination as a significant consideration for university admission but found quota systems to be unconstitutional. The reasoning behind the majority opinion was that a state law school carries out an extremely personalized review of all applicants. The reviews were constitutional because they operated in line with the objective of attaining the institutional benefits of diversity.
The admissions on racial grounds were not harmful to any racial group since all candidates had the chance to demonstrate how they would promote the diversity of the student body. Furthermore, the university never accepted or rejected any admission on automatic grounds of a variable such as racial preference. The admission process put into consideration all aspects that were likely to contribute to the diversity of the student body.
According to Chief Justice Rehnquist, it is constitutional to use racial preferences as an element for admission where it is narrowly personalized to satisfy compelling state interests. He, however, argued that the procedures of Michigan University were not narrow enough to achieve the objective of a diverse student body because they did not apply equally to all racial groups. Justice Kennedy added that the policy of the school on admissions failed to safeguard individualized assessment.
Future constitutional implications
The decision provided a constitutional basis for state universities and other public institutions of higher learning to use racial preference as a significant factor for admission when reviewing a student’s application. The court emphasized that student diversity in state schools is an undeniable state interest.
Schools can meet this state interest by narrowly tailoring their programs in a way that allows equal admission of students from different backgrounds, including race and economic status. Thus, courts are likely to find racial discrimination in school admissions constitutional as long as such a discriminatory policy is in line with the compelling interest of diversity.
In the article “Let’s Spread the ‘Fun’ Around” Ward Churchill tries to explain why it is derogatory to name sports teams after American Indian names. He uses a number of […]
The election of President Barrack Obama was an indication that the US had finally come of age in as far as eradication of racism is concerned. However, critics argue that […]
Human beings have different characteristics from each other. The way that one person is socialized is not the same way that another person will be socialized. Cultural backgrounds are different, […]
Introduction Since its inception, the program ‘No Child Left Behind’ (NCLB) has received mixed reactions from various groups. Some are applauding the program while some are cynical about the idea. […]
In the videos that were examined for this paper, one of the primary notions that stood out when it came to the issue of “race” was the concept of cultural […]
History is one of the key aspects of human life, and a lot can be learned from past interactions between people. The way they treat each other reflects on everything […]
Introduction Racism refers to the act of ascribing certain traits and stereotypes to individuals based on their race. It also includes the belief that certain races are superior to others […]
Introduction Race and ethnicity play significant roles in the field of sociology. The race is a socially constructed perception referring to a group of people who are understood to possess […]
Racism and sexism can exist without people actually expressing particular personal behaviors that would depict them as racist or sexist persons. An important point brought out by this declaration is […]
Factual Background The policy of Michigan University provided for a race as a consideration in admissions. This policy aimed at increasing diversity in the university. Ms. Barbara Grutter, a white […]