2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, December 3, 2002
Separate is not equal: May 17, 1954
In Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court
rules 'separate educational facilities are
inherently unequal,' forcing
schools to desegregate. The
case was filed by the
:.: . National Association for
athe Advancement of
Colored People after
t Oliver Brown
attempted to enroll
his daughter, Linda,
into an all-white
Setting a precedent: June 28, 1978
Allan Bakke, a white applicant to the medical school at
the University of California at Davis, sues the institution
because he believes its race-based
admissions policy discriminated against
R" whites. The case eventually finds its way
to a divided Supreme Court. In a 5-4
decision, the Court rules the use of
quotas to admit minorities
unconstitutional. In his
opinion, Justice Lewis
Marshall Powell says race-
conscious admissions are acceptable ,.
in college admissions. In his
dissenting opinion, Justice Thurgood
Marshall states he agrees "with
the judgment of the Court only
insofar as it permits a
university to consider the race
of an applicant in making
Split circuits: March 18, 1996
Four white applicants to the University
of Texas Law School challenge the
college's admissions policy, stating
they were unfairly rejected
from the school. The 5th
Circuit Court of Appeals rules
the Supreme Court's Bakke
decision to be invalid
in the case and
suspends the use of race-
based admissions in the
circuit. The Supreme Court later
chooses not to hear the
It also later declines to hear
similar cases involving race-
conscious admissions policies
at the. University of Washington,
in which the 9th Circuit Court of
Appeals ruled in favor of using
race as a factor in admissions,
and the University of Georgla, n
which the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against
race-conscious admissions policies.
BAM rallies support for '' policies
By Shab ina . Khatri
Daily Staff Reporter . co n:t. ;:::. ,
"We don't want resegregation, equal
quality education!" chanted students gath-
ered on the steps of the Michigan Union
yesterday at a press conference shortly
after the Supreme Court announced its
decision to take both the Law School and
undergraduate cases challenging the use
of race in admissions.
About 20 students stood in the cold
with snow falling around them as they
held up signs supporting affirmative
Luke Massie, a member of the Coali-
tion to Defend Affirmative Action and
Integration and Fight for Equality by
Any Means Necessary, implored stu-
dents to get involved in the movement
and expressed confidence about the
Court's future ruling.
"Every single person supporting
equal rights and equality must take a
stand at this time. This is the key turn-
ing point," he said. "We will win (Grut-
ter v. Bollinger)."
But LSA sophomore Karl Sowislo, a
staffer of the Michigan Review who
attended the press conference, had a dif-
"First of all, I think it's unconstitu-
tional because in the public sector, as in
colleges and universities, admissions
policies should be looked at with a
blind eye," he said. "I think justice will
prevail, meaning affirmative action will
Education senior Agnes Aleobua
announced BAMN's plans to hold a
national Civil Rights march with 1 mil-
lion attendees in Washington when the
Court hears the case in March or April.
"We will not turn back the hands of
time. I implore everyone in this commu-
nity to join us and march in (Washing-
ton)," Aleobua said.
"Brown v. Board of Education means
as much today as the declaration that all
men are created equal meant during
"We will be marching on the Supreme
ABOVE: Members of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and
Integration and Fight For Equality By Any Means Necessary hold a press
conference on the steps of the Michigan Union yesterday. RIGHT: James
Justin Wilson, a member of Young Americans for Freedom, expresses his
distaste for race-based admissions policies as BAMN members wave signs
on the steps of the Michigan Union yesterday.
Court when they hear our case," she
Miranda Massie, lead attorney for the
student intervenors in the Law School
case, said the Supreme Court's ruling on
the admissions lawsuits could either
uphold or re-define the precedent for
integration set by Brown v. Board of
"Affirmative action plans are deseg-
regation plans for higher education. The
student intervenors will argue before
the U.S. Supreme Court that integration
is this nation's most compelling inter-
est," she said in a written statement.
One of the lawyers for the inter-
venors, Jodi Masley, said the Supreme
Court's decision to hear the University's
cases will have a deep impact on the
Civil Rights movement started by Mar-
tin Luther King Jr. four decades ago.
"This case will determine whether
Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of
progress and equality will be realized in
this society," Masley said.
Masley also announced that BAMN
will host, a National Civil Rights Sum-
mit and Conference at the University
from Jan. 20-26, which will commence
on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday.
Noting cases' implications, students react to court decision
By Jennifer Misthal
Daily Staff Reporter
Though students are divided on the validity of the Uni-
versity's use of race as a factor in admissions, many agreed
on the importance of the Supreme Court's decision yester-
day to hear the two lawsuits facing the University regarding
its current admissions policies.
"If's an exciting time to be a student at the University of
Michigan. This is definitely a historic moment," Michigan
Student Assembly President Sarah Boot said.
But she said she wants and expects the University to
uphold its current admission policies.
"Right now we're the victors. Right now our policies
are deemed legal," Boot said. "I'm excited that affirma-
tive action in higher education has moved to the level of
the Supreme Court."
For supporters of the issue, including LSA senior Kendra
Byrne, yesterday was a time to uphold their opinions main-
taining the use of race as an integral component of the admis-
sions processes for institutions of higher education.
"A lot of people are really sheltered and when they go to
college they should see people that are not like them-
selves," Byrne said. "People should not view affirmative
action as policies rewarding unfair advantages to minority
groups," Byrne added.
Interfraternity Council President Joel Winston said like
many other student organizations, IFC supports the Univer-
sity's policies on diversity but would like to see more inte-
gration outside the classroom.
"Many feel the University falls short of promoting diver-
sity outside the classroom. From an IFC perspective, we
wish the University would do more to work with us," Win-
ston said, adding there is a great deal that lies within the
exploratioin of diversity.
From a personal standpoint, Winston said reforms in
public education are necessary to promote future
equality among students.
"I don't think there's enough opportunity for everyone" he
said. "The government needs to enforce a minimal level of
education that is not sub-par. The University will have a diffi-
cult fight defending their diversity argument because diversi-
ty needs to occur in more areas than the classroom. It needs
to work to cultivate an environment that promotes true inter-
action across the board."
But LSA senior Justin James Wilson, a member of Young
Americans for Freedom, said the issue of affirmative action
is rooted in racism. Although he said he supports the Court's
decision to hear the two cases, Wilson said he hopes the court
will recognize the segregation affirmative action creates.
"It's one more step toward segregation in higher educa-
tion," Wilson said. "How can you have true equality when
you have unequal means of achieving it?"
Wilson said the de-institutionalization of racism is
the inevitable answer to the debate.
"The only way to convince people and solve the problem
of ambient racism is de-institutionalizing racism," he said,
adding that Americans decided to not let race be a deciding
factor in a person's fate in 1964 with the passage of the
Civil Rights Act.
School of Art and Design freshman Megan Hildebrandt
said affirmative action deviated from its original mission
and now policies offering advantages to selected minorities
need to be changed.
"It was a good idea when it first started and I think
it's a good idea for people in urban areas, but I wish
(administrators) could totally change affirmative
action so it is based on financial need rather than skin
color and origin," Hildebrandt said.
The Supreme Court's acceptance of the cases might
potentially create several widespread effects, Engineer-
ing junior Ruben Duran said.
"It will allow affirmative action to be exposed for what it
is," Duran said. "I think the administration is mortified. Now
it has to stand up to the Constitution and it won't pass"
Duran said, adding that the University's active discrimination
is a violation of the 14th amendment, which grants United
States citizens equal protection under the law.
Then there were two:
Dec. 3, 1997
The CIR files a second suit,
this time against the
University's Law School -
Grutter v. Bollinger. The
University becomes a
spotlight for activists, and
then-University President Lee
Bollinger becomes a national
spokesman for diversity in
Other universities look
to high court to settle
issue of race, education
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I EITRA STAFJo ScharzEito iSCie-
By Jordan Schrader
Daily Staff Reporter
Students jump in: Aug. 10, 1999
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals allows 58 students
and four pro-affirmative action groups to join the
lawsuits as defendants.
"A TOTAL LODSS
toc R s .<t I) n
Dec. 13, 2000
policy is upheld
by U.S. District
Feb. 8, 2001
Law School policy
is stuck down by
Dec. 6, 2001
The 6th Circuit
With their own admissions policies on the line,
institutions of higher education across the nation
will watch the US. Supreme Court for a decision
on whether the University's admissions process is
fair and legal.
When the Court issues a decision in lawsuits
challenging the University's consideration of race in
admissions, it could resolve the patchwork legal
precedent around the country that allows some uni-
versities to consider an applicant's race and forbids
others from doing so.
A ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
upheld admissions policies that use race at the Uni-
versity of Washington. But the 5th and 11th circuit
courts ruled similar standards at the universities of
.Texas and Georgia were unconstitutional.
Those three cases never reached the Supreme
Court, leaving the University of Michigan cases as
the focal point of the battle over race-conscious
"A Supreme Court decision would provide
guidance to public and private universities
across the country,"'University Assistant Gener-
al Counsel Jonathan Alger said. "It is an oppor-
tunity to make a decision that would affect
institutions in all 50 states."
The University of Texas, using court-mandated
the case back to a lower court.
"It's really not until (the University of Michi-
gan's) case that there's a square conflict between
two final judgments," for the universities of Michi-
gan and Georgia, he said.
Students in the University of California at Berke-
ley's chapter of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative
Action and Integration and Fight for Equality By
Any Means Necessary were energized by the
announcement that the court would hear the cases,
BAMN member and Berkeley graduate student
Yvette Falarca said.
She said BAMN will mobilize students for
demonstrations in Washington to make an impact
on the case that could have important effects for the
University of California's admissions policy.
"A victory in this case would completely galva-
nize us here in California to restore affirmative
action," Falarca said. "It would be a real vindication
of everything we are working for."
Proposition 209, the successful California ballot
initiative that in 1996 ended the use of race as a
consideration in public university admissions poli-
cies, was initiated partly in response to the threat of
legal challenges to the policies, Falarca said. A
Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Michigan sys-
tem would remove that threat and encourage Cali-
fornians to reinstate race-conscious admissions.
Falarca said if the court strikes down the Univer-
sity's policies, it "would be exposed in California
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