The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 12, 2001 - 7
Three years later, Law School case ready for trial
Continued from Page 1
The legal landscape
When the lawsuits challenging the Universi-
ty were filed in 1997, the nation had only one
mr affirmative action case, Hopwood v. the
State of kxas, on its radar.
Now, there are several other cases debating
:he issues of affirmative action, including a 9th
?ircuit of Appeals decision in the case Smith v
'he University of Washington Law School,
which upheld the use of race as a factor in
The University and the intervening defen-
dants point to the Washington case and Judge
Patrick Duggan's recent decision in the case
challenging the College of Literature, Science
ai*he Arts as signs of the tide changing in
favor of affirmative action.
"I feel terrific about where we are,"
Bollinger said. "We really had a tremendous
victory with Duggan."
Duggan's decision favored the University. In
his opinion, Duggan wrote that race is a com-
pelling government interest, affirming the opin-
ion written by U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Lewis Powell in the 1978 case Universitr of
Califbrnia Regents v. Bakke.
The 9th Circuit and Duggan's decisions
stand in direct contradiction to the decision
reached by the 5th Circuit in the Hopwood
case, which declared Bakke inapplicable and
outlawed the use of race in admissions.
But lawyers from the Center for Individual
Rights also claimed victory in Duggan's deci-
sion because the judge had found that the sys-
tem of admissions used in LSA from 1995-98
In contrast, the Law School's admissions
policy has not changed since 1992.
And it is the application of race under the
current reading of Bakke that will be on trial
in Judge Bernard Friedman's Detroit court-
room on Tuesday. Friedman did indicate that
he will take the question of whether diversity
is a compelling government interest under
But because of the law's inextricable rela-
tionship with public policy, any discussion of
affirmative action law must also take place
within the context of the present social climate.
And it is within this context that University and
intervenor lawyers say they have gained the
At first, said Law School Dean Jeffrey
Lehman, public opinion seemed to be against
the University. There was a lot of confusion
about what the policies of the University actu-
ally were, Lehman said.
"The tenr of the conversation has moved
away from flatly false and irresponsible allega-
tions to what the facts are and the issues are,",
Miranda Massie, lead counsel for the inter-
vening defendants. credited student activism to
swinging public opinion to the side of affirma-
When the suits were initially filed, she said,
it seemed likely CR would prevail.
"Now they've got their tail between their
legs and they're scrambling," Massie said. "The
tide is starting to turn and that is largely due to
the students on the U of M campus.
But CIR takes the opposite view. Chief
Executive Officer Terry Pell said, "If anything,
I think the public was disheartened when they
learned the details of what Michigan does.
Pell concluded, "I think it is noteworthy that
the University of Michigan sees this primarily
as a public relations fight when it is really a
issue of what's allowed under our Constitu-
Public opinion aside, Wayne State law Prof.
Robert Sedler said that the need for affirmative
action has changed dramatically since the
Bakke decision in 1978.
"In 1977, the use of race in admissions was
very crucial. There was an enormous educa-
tional gap between black and white students,"
Now, he continued, the success of affir-
mative action programs has created a
minority middle class that would ensure
that minorities would continue to apply and
"Now they've got their
tale between their legs
and they're scrambling."
- Miranda Massie
Lead Counsel for intervening defendants
affirmative action would not mean that no
minorities would ever be admitted to the
"If U of M is not allowed to use race, there
will be political pressure to use factors that cor-
relate with race, like taking the top four percent
from inner city high schools or schools down-
river. And these are people that have good
grades but typically do not have the kind of
preparation that U of M wants them to have.
No matter what the outcome, the trial rep-
resents a crucial moment in higher educa-
tion. It is an event with the potential to
resonate not just at the college level, but at
all levels of society.
be accepted to colleges across the
Of course, he said, the number of
tions would probably drop, but
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Continued from Page 1
However, the intervening defendants also contend
that affirmative action policies are necessary to reme-
dy past and present discrimination at the University.
Specifically, they argue that measures such as the Law
School Aptitude Test automatically put minority stu-
dents at a disadvantage and race must be taken in
account to offet those effects.
Lawyers representing the three parties in the case
said they were looking forward to the trial after the
years of legal maneuvering.
"We are looking forward to the opportunity to show
the court and the public that our policy complies with
the law and that it produces excellent students and
lawyers," Deputy General Counsel Liz Barry said.
Terry Pell, CIR's chief executive officer, echoed sim-
ilar statements, saying that CIR viewed the trial as a
Continued from Page 1
here from Russia and talking with
him was like getting a Russian histo-
ry lesson. He seemed to know the
entire history of Russia and its peo-
ple. Scrgei was just a really charis-
matic guy and an awful lot of people
are going to miss him."
"Anytime a tragedy like this
occurs, it is difficult to find the right
words to convey our feelings," said
Stephen Director, dean of the Col-
lege of Engineering, in a written second
statement. "This obviously is a terri-
ble loss and our heartfelt condoles- bj-c
cences go out to the families and
friends of Sergei and his wife."
* Prisons Chief Jim Programs
Hodges allegedly allowed Asian Lang
inmates to have sex in SociooI
the governor's mansion
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Gov.
Jim Hodges angrily fired Soutl T e/O
Carolina's prisons chief yesterday
after two guards were charged with
letting inmates have sex at the gov-
The charges deepened a prison
sex scandal that began last summer
when child killer Susan Smith told
investigators she had sex with two
guards. A total of 13 guards and
other prison employees have been
charged since the investigation
"I am mad as hell, for the sancti- New Si
ty of my home has been violated,"
Hodges said in firing William
"Doug" Catoe and appointing for- Employmen
mer FBI agent Dodge Frederick to
head the Corrections Department.- Compensath
Hodges, who reappointed Catoe
in 1999, had stood by the prisons
director even as the state investiga- Work Sched
tion into sexual favors and drugs New
behind bars widened. But reports withe
that inmates who work in and
around the Governor's Mansion and week
the governor's temporary residence
had sex while he was not home Pare
were "the straw that broke the aro
camel's back," Hodges said. appro
"We've got to get confidence
back in the Department of Correc- Eligibility:
tions, but the first and most impor-
tant thing to me is to get these folks aademc sta
ti - nn~
out of my house," the governor during the 20
Catoe, a 30-year veteran of the Aplication
Corrections Department, first was
appointed to the S122,404-a-year cation at theI
I . . r - - . , --' I - ..-
chance to "demonstrate just how big a factor race is in
admissions at the Law School."
CIR has contended that the University's policies vio-
late the Constitution and race should never be used as a
factor in admissions.
Curt Levey, director.of Public and Legal Affairs at
CIR added that they were looking forward to cross
examining the University's witnesses.
But the party most excited about the the opportunity
of a trial is the intervening defendants.
"We're absolutely thrilled about a trial." said Miran-
da Massie, lead counsel for the Law School inter-
"A trial is absolutely necessary to dispel the myth
that black and other minority students are unqualified,"
The trial is estimated to last no longer than three
weeks, and the court is scheduled to hear testimony
from Jan. 16 to Jan. 26. and resume on February 5.
coruction 1 it t
. xe~. litr two ialu
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