Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244, 8 (2003)

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Cite as: 539 U. S. 244 (2003)

Opinion of the Court

for Petitioners i. Because we find that the manner in which the University considers the race of applicants in its undergraduate admissions guidelines violates these constitutional and statutory provisions, we reverse that portion of the District Court's decision upholding the guidelines.


A Petitioners Jennifer Gratz and Patrick Hamacher both applied for admission to the University of Michigan's (University) College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) as residents of the State of Michigan. Both petitioners are Caucasian. Gratz, who applied for admission for the fall of 1995, was notified in January of that year that a final decision regarding her admission had been delayed until April. This delay was based upon the University's determination that, although Gratz was " 'well qualified,' " she was " 'less competitive than the students who ha[d] been admitted on first review.' " App. to Pet. for Cert. 109a. Gratz was notified in April that the LSA was unable to offer her admission. She enrolled in the University of Michigan at Dearborn, from which she graduated in the spring of 1999.

Hamacher applied for admission to the LSA for the fall of 1997. A final decision as to his application was also postponed because, though his " 'academic credentials [were] in the qualified range, they [were] not at the level needed for first review admission.' " Ibid. Hamacher's application was subsequently denied in April 1997, and he enrolled at Michigan State University.1

W. Gerdts III, John L. Sander, Mark P. Klein, and Stephen P. Sawyer; for Representative John Conyers, Jr., et al. by Paul J. Lawrence and Anthony R. Miles; for Duane C. Ellison, by Mr. Ellison, pro se, and Carl V. Angelis; and for Representative Richard A. Gephardt et al. by Andrew L. Sandler and Mary L. Smith.

1 Although Hamacher indicated that he "intend[ed] to apply to transfer if the [LSA's] discriminatory admissions system [is] eliminated," he has since graduated from Michigan State University. App. 34.


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