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One hundred eleven years of edmonrkil freedom
May 15, 2002
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Sixt circuit votes
in avor o
admission o wicies
By Jeremy Berkowitz
Daily News Editor
Rev. Valdiveso Mathews covers his face in disgust while sitting next to Jared Suess, an opposing protester, on the steps of the Michigan Union after
yesterday's rally to celebrate the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision.
Inside: Complete coverage of yesterday's rally and Rev. Jesse Jackson's visit to Ann Arbor. Page 4.
Supreme Court ecpace
ex ted, analysts,.predicet
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals returned a
decision yesterday morning in favor of the Law
School in Grutter v. Bollinger, stating race could
be used as a factor in admissions. By a 5-4 vote,
the 6th Circuit reversed a March 2001 decision
by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman that
ruled the Law School admission process illegal.
But, the battle continues as Center for Individual
Rights lawyers, who first filed the lawsuit five
years ago, plan to petition the Supreme Court to
hear an appeal.
"The district court relied on five
factors in concluding that the Law
School's consideration of race and
ethnicity was not narrowly tailored,"
Chief Circuit Judge Boyce Martin .
wrote in the majority opinion. "As a
initial matter, we have serious reser-
vations regarding the district court's
consideration of five factors not found in Bakke.
... Nevertheless, we are satisfied that the remain-
ing factors relied on by the district court cannot
sustain its holding."
University Law School attorney Miranda
Massie said if the Supreme Court grants a writ of
certiorari to Grutter v. Bollinger, it will have as
much significance as the 1954 case of Brown v.
Topeka Board of Education, which ruled the con-
cept of "separate but equal" education unconsti-
tutional. She said she is confident the Supreme
Court will uphold the 6th Circuit ruling.
"It goes beyond a matter of diversity," Massie
said. "It's a major breakthrough for the new civil
CIR lawyer Kirk Kolbo said today's decision
confirms the controversy going on over the issue
in the lower courts. He said he felt the dissent of
Judge Danny Boggs was very strong and persua-
sive. While he said he could not predict how the
Supreme Court would vote on the case, he is con-
fident they will grant cert.
"This case is one that presents issues that
cries out for resolution by the Supreme Court,"
Judge Martin's main argument in his opinion
is the University Law School's admission
process is sound in accordance to the 1978
Supreme Court decision Regents of the Univer-
sity of California v. Bakke. In Bakke, a divided
Supreme Court said race could be used as a fac-
tor in university admissions, but forbade the use
of quotas in attaining a diverse student body. In
particular, in a sole concurring majority opinion,
Justice Louis Powell recognized diversity as a
compelling state interest that provides an envi-
ronment of "speculation, experiment and cre-
ation." Judge Martin rejected Judge Friedman's
argument that diversity was not a compelling
"Because Justice Powell's opinion is binding
on this court under Marks v. United States, and
because Bakke remains the law until the Supreme
Court instructs otherwise, we reject the district
court's conclusion and find that the Law School
has a compelling interest in achieving a diverse
student body," Martin wrote.
In the main dissenting opinion, Judge Danny
Boggs centrally argued while using race as a fac-
tor in admissions that might be necessary in other
countries, the United States is bound
by the Equal Protection Clause in the
14th amendment, which states no eth-
AL nic group or culture should be given
special advantages over another.
"Instead, the framers of the Four-
teenth Amendment decided that our
government should abstain from
social engineering through explicit
racial classifications," Judge Boggs wrote.
"The Law School's admissions scheme simply
cannot withstand the scrutiny that the Consti-
But supporters of the Law School's admis-
sions process disputed Judge Boggs' point,
saying the constitution allows for some impor-
tant treatment, if it is justified with compelling
"In this case, the University did an out-
standing job in showing how important diver-
sity is to higher education," said Kary Moss,
executive director of the Michigan American
Civil Liberties Union Chapter. "Moreover, I
think there's a real question about whether
there has been any unequal treatment." She
added the admissions process is full of objec-
tive factors such as geography and whether a
candidate's parent is an alumnus of the Uni-
versity. "It's never an equal playing field both
in terms of past discrimination and selection
criteria," she said.
But Center for the Study of Popular Culture
President David Horowitz said he believes the
University Law School's admissions policies
admit less academically qualified students. He
stated that the problems of minorities in this
country come from other issues including pre-
"The race consciousness which the University
strives so strenuously to raise I consider to be a
reactionary attitude that one day America will get
beyond but not with the help of the University of
Michigan." Horowitz said. "By having racial
preference in admissions, it is basically covering
up the real problem which is based in the K-12
By Mada Sprow
Daily News Editor
Now that the decision from the 6th Circuit
Court of Appeals in the case of Grutter vs.
Bollinger has been decided in favor of the Uni-
versity, most people are left with one question:
Since Center for Individual Rights attorney
Kirk Kolbo announced yesterday that he will be
appealing the decision on behalf of his client,
Barbara Grutter, it's safe to say the case is not
over - yet.
While the case will go on, it is unknown
how long it will take for the Supreme Court
judges to try the case and reach the verdict.
But before the High Court does anything else,
they must decide whether to accept the case in
the first place.
Although they stress that nobody knows for
sure what the Supreme Court judges will
decide, legal experts agree that the chances of
the case being heard within the High Court's
walls are greater than the chances of it being
"The Supreme Court's review is entirely dis-
cretionary," said Robert Sedler, a constitutional
law professor at Wayne State University. "But
one of the criteria for the Supreme Court granti-
ng review is disagreement among the district
courts of appeal. ... (With a Supreme Court rul-
ing,) the law would be uniform throughout the
United States. This case is a good candidate for
Supreme Court review."
The Supreme Court has already refused to
hear appeals in earlier cases dealing with
raced-based admissions policies at the Uni-
versity of Washington and the University of
Texas. Sedler said those refusals only make it
more likely the court will hear the University
of Michigan's cases.
In the past, courts nationwide have ruled dif-
ferently on the constitutionality of race-based
admissions. The Texas and Washington cases
resulted in conflicting judgments from their dis-
trict circuit courts of appeals. In Hopwood v.
Texas, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals voted
against the university's race-based admissions
policies, but in Smith v. University of Washing-
ton, the 9th Circuit judges ruled that admissions
can include race as a factor. The matters are fur-
ther complicated by the 11th Circuit Court of
Appeal's decision in Johnson v. University of
Georgia, which agreed with the Hopwood deci-
sion, and the previous decisions dealing with
the University of Michigan's own cases.
Another major reason why some believe the
Supreme Court may lean toward hearing Grut-
ter v. Bollinger is that it's the only case of its
kind still going through the judicial system,
making the case especially important nationally.
If the Supreme Court decides to hear the
See ANALYSIS, Page 4
court case, sense
By Shoshana Hurand
Daily Staff Reporter
News of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals
decision regarding the use of race in the Law
School admissions process spread across cam-
pus late yesterday morning, bringing forth
student opinion and discrussion. The verdict
reversed the lower court's judgment to prohib-
it the Law School's use of race when consider-
Many students expressed views in favor of
the decision to support race as a factor in
Law student Valerie Krasnoff admitted it is a
The conviction in the importance of educa-
tional diversity was supported by Michigan
Student Assembly President Sarah Boot.
"I love the diversity in this school," Boot
said, adding that she believes the rest of the
student body also appreciates this element of
education at the University. MSA passed a res-
olution during the Winter 2002 semester sup-
porting the use of race in admissions at the
Rackham Student Lora Park also empha-
sized the positive influence of multiculturalism
"I think [the decision] is a good thing
Engineering sophomore Kathryn Kerns and LSA sophomores Chris Parres and Nicole Falkauff discuss the
use of race as a factor in admissions yesterday on the Diag.
"It's definitely something you can't say yes or
Some students took issue with the imple-
mentation of admissions influenced by race at
Duran viewed such measures as discriminatory
and said he felt the case will be appealed to the
"I don't believe in singling people out on the
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