Do you agree or disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision in Grutter v. Bollinger in which the University Of Michigan Law School’s admissions procedures were challenged? What is the basis for your opinion?
Your submission should be a 3-4 page APA formatted paper. Be sure to use a minimum of 2 outside resources.
CJ400-Week 2 writing assignment: Grutter V. Bollinger
In 1997, a white woman and resident of Michigan in the name of Barbara Grutter applied for admission to Law school at the University of Michigan. Even though she had attained an LSAT score of 161and an undergraduate GPA of 3.8, the university denied her admission (McBride, 2006). The Law School gave the reason for denying she admits that it used race as a key factor for making any admission decisions since it fulfilled the interests of realizing diversity among the school’s student body. However, when this matter was brought to the District Court, it ruled that the Law School’s interests in achieving diversity within the student body cannot be considered as a compelling reason (McBride, 2006). Therefore, race cannot be used as a criterion of the admission process. This decision would later be reversed at the Appeals court, where Justice Powell opined that the Law School’s decision was under a binding precedent that established diversity to be compelling federal government interests, which justifies the use of race as a criterion of the admission process.
The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the appellant court by arguing that since the Law School’s policy didn’t provide any individual considerations, it led to the admission of almost all applicants bearing the underrepresentation minority status, which implies that it wasn’t tailored narrowly in the right manner necessary or bearing the previous jurisprudence on the matter (McBride, 2006). In other words, the supreme court supported the decision taking by the law school, suggesting that the school intentions behind adopting this policy was not malicious and didn’t violate any of the principles enshrined in the law of equity.
Reasons for Agreeing With the Court Order
In this case, I agree with the decision made by both the appellant and supreme courts. I feel that Barbara Grutter’s is wrong for suggesting that the Law School’s interests in achieving diversity within the student body cannot be considered as a compelling reason. Therefore, race cannot be used as a criterion of the admission process. Before even applying for admission, Grutter ought to have read the law school’s policy, which states clearly that it is seeking to establish ethnic and racial diversity. Moreover, there was no element of discrimination in this policy, given the fact that it was part of the admission procedures applied to everyone. As such, the law school’s policy was intended to provide equal opportunity to all students from diverse backgrounds, specifically based on their ethnicity and race, leading to a diversified student population.
From the case proceedings, it is quite clear that only individualized considerations were made during the admissions process, which was raised to the admissions review committee. Since this committee played a very small role as part of the overall admissions process, there was no sufficient justification to satisfy or meet the established strict scrutiny standards. Moreover, as suggested by Justice Clarence Thomas in the ruling, the equal protection clause is prohibitive against any form of racial discrimination when it comes to the admission process in higher education or institutions of learning (McBride, 2006). As such, following the guidelines established by this policy allowed the Law School to conduct its admission process without discrimination in the form of race or ethnicity. For these reasons, I agree with the decision made by the court.
Finally, the court reasoned that since the Law School undertakes a highly individualized review process of all the applicants, no rejection or acceptance is automatically based on variables such as ethnicity or race. This process makes sure that every factor contributing to diversity is meaningfully considered together with race and ethnicity, as such, the race-conscious admissions process undertaken by the law school doesn’t in any way harm the nonminority applicants (Moran, 2016). Based on this understanding, we can conclude that the Law School’s policy intended to provide equal opportunity to all students from diverse backgrounds.
From the preceding, the court supported the decision taken by the law school, arguing that it didn’t violate the law of equality. Moreover, the court ruled that the fact that the law school has used racial and ethnicity in a tailored manner as part of its policies highlights the determination of the institution to ensure that there is ethnic and racial diversity among the student’s population (Moran, 2016). As described by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the Equal Protection Clause doesn’t prohibit the law school from using its narrowly tailored application of race and ethnicity in its admission process since it promotes a government plan to provide equal education benefits to a diverse student population. As such, I agree with the decision taken by the courts and feel that Barbara Grutter’s is wrong for suggesting that the Law School’s interests of achieving diversity within the student body cannot be considered as a compelling reason and therefore race cannot be used as a criterion of the admission process.
McBride, A. (2006). The Supreme Court . The future of the court . Landmark cases . Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger (2003) | PBS. Retrieved from https://www.thirteen.org/wnet/supremecourt/future/landmark_grutter.html
Moran, R. F. (2016). Grutter v. Bollinger (2003). Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education. doi:10.4135/9781452218533.n324