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March 28, 2001 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-03-28

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One hundred ten years ofedtorialfreedom

CLASSIFIED: 764-0557

Wed nday
March 28, 2001

~rr~ .~
~ ~ ~ ,.......,~.. ~ - - -

Law School
rd ...
ruled illgal

By Anna Clark
and Jon Fish
Daily Staff Reporters
Rejecting the University's defense of its affirmative
action policies, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman
struck down the Law School's use of race as a factor in
admissions, declaring that student diversity is not a
compelling state interest.
Friedman also refuted the arguments of student
intervenors in the case, ruling further that a race con-
scious admissions system cannot be used to remedy
past discrimination, nor "level the playing field"
between minority and non-minority applicants.
Law School Dean Jeffrey Lehman, in a telephone
interview from Berkeley, Calif, expressed great disap-
pointment over the decision.
"This is not only a rejection of the University's argu-
ments, but a rejection of two decades of settled under-
standing within higher education," Lehman said.
The crux of Friedman's decision is his interpretation
of the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court decision, University
of California Regents vs. Bakke. Racial quotas were
outlawed in the case, but Justice Lewis Powell, writing
only for himself, endorsed the use of race as a "plus
factor" to achieve racial diversity.
But since no other justices joined Powell on this par-
ticular point, Friedman said, Powell's opinion cannot
be interpreted as the controlling opinion in the case.
Kirk Kolbo, lead counsel for the Center for Individ-
ual Rights, the Washington D.C.-based firm represent-
ing plaintiff Barbara Grutter, said he expects to see the
decision influence other cases.
See RULING, Page 2

Yesterday's ruling
contrasts sharply
with the decision
handed down 3
months ago in the
LSA case.
Two decades later,
the exact meaning
of the landmark
Bakke case remains
to be determined.
Excerpts from
yesterday's ruling.
Page 12.

Second-year Law students Nicholas Smith, Irvin Tyan and Steve Sielatycki converse in the Law Quad yesterday about the verdict handed down by U.S. District Judge
Bernard Friedman striking down the Law School's race-conscious admissions policy.
ents shoke d eci sin

By Elizabeth Kassab
Daily Staff Reporter
The title of the e-mail said it all:
"Bad news."
As word of yesterday's ruling against the use of
in the Law School's admissions policy circulat-
ed through the Law Quad in the form of an e-mail
from Dean Jeffrey Lehman, David Singer was only
one of many students caught off-guard by the news.
"Regardless of whether or not Law students sup-
port the policy, everyone is standing behind the Law
School administration and the University," said
Singer, a first-year Law student.
"Certainly the vast majority are behind the Uni-
versity," agreed second-year Law student Sam Tuttle.
While everyone who already attends class in the
Lv Quad doesn't have to worry about a possible
n race-blind admissions policy, many expressed
fears of U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman's ver-
dict's immediate effects on the school.
"I'm concerned that it's going to affect recruit-
ment," third-year Law School student Chris Lynch
said. "I think it's going to be discouraging for

"Certainly t vast majority are behind the University."
- Sam Tuttle
Second-year Law student

prospective students."
But there were a handful of students who did not
view the ruling as a disaster for the Law School and
the University.
There are students who do not fully agree with the
Law School's admissions policies, but "no one
admits to their ambivalence," said first-year Law stu-
dent Ken Plochinski.
"I have to agree with the verdict," said one second-
year Law student who asked not to be identified. "I do
believe in equality. I just differ in how to achieve that."
"Racial bias must end in all forms, and I view
affirmative action as a continuation of racial bias in
some form," he said. "Affirmative action programs
infringe on my civil rights, and for that reason I do
not accept it."
But whatever their views on affirmative action,

everyone did agree on one important point: The
issue is far from being over.
"This is a case that is destined for the Supreme
Court," said Law School Assistant Dean Charlotte
Johnson. Johnson and Associate Dean Christina
Whitman held a meeting with students, faculty and
staff yesterday evening to discuss the the ruling.
More than 100 people crowded into a Hutchins
Hall lecture room to voice their support for the Law
School's admissions policies and discuss their con-
cerns about the decision's implications.
"We're not ready to sit down and say, 'We give
up,"' Johnson assured the audience.
And while there may be a long way to go, many
students admitted that losing the first phase does
come as a significant setback.
See REACTION, Page 7

LSA sophomore Agnes Aleobua, a member of the student intervention, expresses
outrage over the ruling at a press conference in front of the Michigan Union.

Bush visits Kalamazoo to gain

support for tax cut,
By Louie Meizlish
Daily Staff Reporter " a , l.Am, ".. .

budget plan
- Michiganians understand that and I think
F S that's why he came here" he said.
Bush also emphasized his belief in an
education system that is results-oriented.
"We must hold schools accountable and give
parents better options if our schools fail to
teach," he said.

KALAMAZOO - In an appearance at
Western Michigan University yesterday,
President Bush attempted to enlist Michigan
residents to help him drum up support for
his tax cut and budget plan.
"This is an issue of trust as far as I'm con-
cerned and I trust the people," Bush said.
The president spoke for about half an hour
urging an audience of about 1,000 to contact
Michigan's two Democratic senators, Carl
Levin and Debbie Stabenow, and ask them to
support his $1.6 trillion tax cut plan. Both
have expressed disapproval.
The tax plan has been approved by the
House of Representatives but faces an
uncertain fate in the Senate, where there is
an even split between parties.
"We have made progress. But there's a lot
of work to be done. And I'm here to ask for
your help. If you like what you hear, you're
only an e-mail away from letting two sena-
tors know what you think," he said.

-mirwmea rax reiw
good news. But tax
relief that gets yanke
away next year is noi
good news."
- President


America and some industries are doing bet-
ter, but the trend is clear, and the need for
action is urgent," he said.
For that reason Bush said the tax cuts he
proposed should not only continue in the
future but also be made retroactive to the
beginning of the year.
"Immediate tax relief is good news. But
tax relief that gets yanked away next year is
not good news," he said.
Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus said Michigan
was a fitting place for Bush to talk about his

Touching on the power crisis in Califor-
nia, the president said he plans to develop a
national energy policy based on maximizing
supply and increasing conservation.
But a system of price controls, which is
employed in California, he said, is not
"Price controls do not increase supply, and
they do not encourage conservation," he
said, adding "Price controls contributed to
the gas lines of the 1970s."
Reactions among the largely Republican
audience were overwhelmingly favorable.
"I think it's time for us to have a tax cut
and I think Congress has got a job ahead of
them ironing out the details but I think he is
on the right track," sad Jan Jones, a self-
employed math teacher.


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