Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244, 14 (2003)

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

Opinion of the Court

position of its freshman class, such as high class rank, unique life experiences, challenges, circumstances, interests or talents, socioeconomic disadvantage, and underrepresented race, ethnicity, or geography. After reviewing "flagged" applications, the ARC determines whether to admit, defer, or deny each applicant.


The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment with respect to liability. Petitioners asserted that the LSA's use of race as a factor in admissions violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 78 Stat. 252, 42 U. S. C. 2000d, and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Respondents relied on Justice Powell's opinion in Regents of Univ. of Cal. v. Bakke, 438 U. S. 265 (1978), to respond to petitioners' arguments. As discussed in greater detail in the Court's opinion in Grutter v. Bollinger, post, at 323-325, Justice Powell, in Bakke, expressed the view that the consideration of race as a factor in admissions might in some cases serve a compelling government interest. See 438 U. S., at 317. Respondents contended that the LSA has just such an interest in the educational benefits that result from having a racially and ethnically diverse student body and that its program is narrowly tailored to serve that interest. Respondent-intervenors asserted that the LSA had a compelling interest in remedying the University's past and current discrimination against minorities.9

9 The District Court considered and rejected respondent-intervenors' arguments in a supplemental opinion and order. See 135 F. Supp. 2d 790 (ED Mich. 2001). The court explained that respondent-intervenors "failed to present any evidence that the discrimination alleged by them, or the continuing effects of such discrimination, was the real justification for the LSA's race-conscious admissions programs." Id., at 795. We agree, and to the extent respondent-intervenors reassert this justification, a justification the University has never asserted throughout the course of this litigation, we affirm the District Court's disposition of the issue.


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