Gutter V. Bollinger

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In the cases Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger (2003), the Supreme Court ruled that the use of Affirmative action in school admission is constitutional if it treats race as one factor among many, its purpose is to achieve a "diverse" class, and it does not substitute for individualized review of applicant, but is unconstitutional if it automatically increases an applicant's chances over others simply because of his or her race. The Grutter case involved a lawsuit against the admission process at the University of Michigan's Law School. The mission of the law school's intensely competitive admission process was to achieve "a mix of students with varying backgrounds and experiences who will respect and learn from one another." While test scores and undergraduate performance were the most important criteria in selecting applicants for admission, they were not determinative. The school also examined a host of subjective factors in making its admissions decisions, including the race and ethnicity of the candidates. "Underrepresented" racial and ethnic minority applicants (i.e., African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans) were looked upon favorably because they helped achieve the school's mission of student diversity. Evidence suggested that without the school's affirmative action policy, an underrepresented minority’s average chance of admission would decrease from 35 percent to 10 percent. Barbara Grutter, a white Michigan resident whose application was rejected, sued the school in a lower federal court alleging that its admissions policy was unconstitutional. Grutter alleged that the school made race a "predominate" factor in admissions decisions and that the school intentionally discriminated against whites, and that this violated the Fourteenth Amendment, which forbids states from denying "to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection
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