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June 29, 1978 - Image 11

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Michigan Daily, 1978-06-29

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, June 29, 1978-Page 11
Court sides with Bakke

(Continuedfrom Page 1)
The program dismantled by the court
yesterday had reserved 16 of the 100
seats in each of the medical school's en-
tering classes for blacks, Hispanics and
Bakke's victory came in the court's
main opinion by Justice Lewis Powell.
In that opinion, Powell held that strict
racial quotas or goals are uncon-
stitutional. "Preferring members of
any one group for no reason other than
race or ethnic origin is discrimination
for its own sake," he wrote
HOWEVER, the four justices who
joined Powell in the majority did not
address themselves to the question of
racial quotas and goals or con-
stitutional guarantees. In their
opinions, they said Bakke deserved
admission to the Davis school under
provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
which prohibits discrimination by race.
While ruling out quotas and goals,
Powell said other types of affirmative
action programs may be permitted.
"The experience of other university
admissions programs, which take race
into account in achieving the
educational diversity valued by the
First Amendment, demonstrates that
the assignment of a fixed number of
places to a minority group is not a
necessary means toward that end,"
Powell wrote.
schools can go in considering an ap-
plicant's race, Powell cited the ad-
missions program at Harvard as being
designed to ensure racial and ethnic
diversity while selecting students with
a broad range of talents and geograpic
Powell wrote, "In such an admissions
program, race or ethnic background
may be deemed a 'plus' in a particular
applicant's file, yet it does not insulate
the individual from comparison with all
other candidates for the available
But Powell said the Davis program,
which kept Bakke out of school by
specifically setting aside 16 minority
places out of 100 openings in the first-
year class, "would hinder, rather than
further, attainment of genuine diver-
CITING HISinterpretation of the 14th
Amendment, which guarantees equal

protection under the law, Powell said
the Davis minority admission program
was not shown to be necessary to
achieve the school's stated goals.
Powell dismissed arguments over
whether the affirmative action
program at Davis set "quotas" or
"goals" saying that whether the Davis
limitation was described with either
term "it is a line drawn on the basis of
race and ethnic status."
Bakke, who now is a 38-year-old
engineer for the U.S. space agency,
said he was "pleased" with the decision
and planned to enter medical school in
OFFICIALS AT the school said they
would obey the law.
Black leaders expressed mixed
emotion at the court's decision.
Ralph Smith, chairman of the Legal
Education Task force of the National
Conference of Black Lawyers, said he
hopes "the court hasn't become the
.assassin of affirmative action."
But Dr. Joseph Lowery, president of
the Southern Christian Leadership Con-
ference, said that as long as such
schools are open to blacks "then I think
we can live without fixed quotas."
Later, HEW Secretary Joseph
Califano Jr. said the court had san-
ctioned affirmative action programs
supervised by his department and At-
torney General Griffin Bell also said
the court had endorsed the government
position in favor of affirmative action.
TWO DISTINCT majorities were
formed by yesterday's ruling, with
Powell the pivotal character in each.
Joined by Chief Justice Warren Burger
and Justices John Paul Stevens,
William Rehnquist and Potter Stewart,
Powell held that strict racial quotas or
goals as used at Davis violate the 1964
Powell then joined Marshall, William
Brennan, Byron White and Barry
Blackmun in agreeing that some affir-
mative action programs may be valid.
Powell alone ruled that strict racial
quotas or goals also violate the Con-
stitution. Had there been a clear-cut
majority for Bakke on hat point the
decision's impact could have been
devastating to the civil rights
In a separate opinion in which
Burger, Rehnquist and Stewart,

agreed, Stevens wrote: "In un-
mistakable terms, the 1964 Civil Rights
Act prohibits the exclusion of in-
dividuals from federally funded
programs because of their race."
Marshall's dissent predicted the
Bakke decision would produce dire con-
sequences for efforts to achieve racial
He wrote: "It is because of a legacy
of unequal treatment that we now must
permit the institutions of this society to
give consideration to race in making
decisions about who will hold the
positions of influence, affluence and
prestige in America.
"For far too long, the doors to those
positions have been shut to Negroes. If
we are ever to become a fully in-
tegrated society, one in which the color
of a person's skin will not determine the
opportunities available to him or her,
we must be willing to take steps to open
those doors."
BAKKE HAD successfully sued the
university in state courts after his ap-
plication to the Davis medical school
was rejected in 1973 and 1974, charging
that the admissions program reserving
places for "disadvantaged" students
was an impermissible racial quota.
Under it, Bakke charged, less
academically qualified blacks,
Hispanics and Asian-Americans were
admitted ahead of him because he was

Bakke, who lives in Los Altos, Calif.,
never had to prove that he would have
been admitted if the school had not had
a special admissions program and the
university conceded it could not prove
Bakke would have been excluded if the
program had not existed.
A STATE trial court ruled that Davis'
minority program violated the 14th
Amendment as well as a portion of the
1964 Civil Rights Act that outlaws racial
discrimination by institutions receiving
federal funds.
The Constitution's 14th Amendment,
approved 110 years ago, extended to
blacks the promise of full membership
in American society, granted citizen-
ship to recently freed slaves and or-
dered states not to "deny to any per-
son . . the equal protection of the
Those words have been used by civil
rights activists in virtually every case
aimed at expanding the role of
minorities in America. Their greatest
victory was in 1954 when the Supreme
Court outlawed racial segregation.
The racial civil rights movement
gained momentum over the past 15
years as government-ordered
programs began to give special prefer-
ence to minority members and women
to overcome past discrimination in
business, education and government.

Many offered opinion on case
(Continued on Page 5) reallyaracialquota,
sity's position sacrifices the principle of Here's how the ABA explained the
racial equality for a short-term advan- difference between goals and quotas in
tage ... There is no cut-off principle." Bakke's attempt to enter the University
Bakke also found support among the of California at Davis Medical School.
national Chamber of Commerce, the "A remedial admissions program
Fraternal Order of Police, the that established a goal for the number
American Federation of Teachers and of qualified disadvantaged minority
three Polish-American groups. students to be admitted is con-
THE CARTER administration and stitutionally permissible. Such a goal
the American Bar Association (ABA) which, as is the case at Davis, sets
took similar positions - that setting neither a minimum or maximum for-
race-conscious goals for admissions minority students, does not const.itute a
and hiring programs is valid but rigid quota ...
racial quotas are not. "Unlike a quota, a goal is no nure
The government and the ABA said than a starting point in the process of
Bakke should lose because he failed to shaping a remedy, rather than an in-
prove that the university's policy was flexible requirement," the ABA said.

Marshall offers sharp dissent
(Continuedon Page S)
the Supreme Court are seldom plete equality."
correct-the justices stepped out from There was almost nothing until the
behind the curtain, preceded by Chief Brown decision, "with the tacit ap-
Justice Warren Burger and followed, proval of the courta," Marshall said,
almost imperceptibly in order of and that was followed by gains for
seniority, by the others.wblacks.
"Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!" Marshal Alfred Now, we have this court again stop-
Wong began his ritualized cry. "The ping in, this time to stop affirmative ac-
court is now sitting." The luck 200 tion programs of the tyhpe used by the
tourists who happened to be in the University of California," he said at the
sightseeing line at the right time Then Burger announced the court ad-
strained anoucetohseertad
STEWARTosee.FIRST delivered the journed until 10a.m. Thursday.
court's ruling in another matter and felt
contrained-in the heavy atmosphere SHORT or LONG
of expectancy-to say it was "an im- Haircutting By Experts
portant case."
The last to speak was Marshall. DASCOLA
It all has -come full circle, said the STYLISTS
gray-haired Marshall, who will be 70
next Sunday. The Civil War was Arberland-971-9975
followed by affirmative action ,Maple Villoge-76'-2733
--- ;. u rA n. .. . E. Liberty-668-9329

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