Gratz applied to Michigan as residents of the State of Michigan, but was rejected.
Filed lawsuit based on violation of EPC of 14th Amendment.
Office of Undergrad Admissions used a certain formula, and a minority applicant was entitled to 20 extra points in their admissions formula. As such, Petitioners would have qualified for admission if they were minorities, but did not because they were white.
District Court upheld the guidelines.
Does the University of Michigan's use of racial preferences in undergraduate admissions violate the EPC?
The manner in which the University considers the race of applicants in its undergraduate admissions guidelines (adding 20 pts to admissions formula for minority applicants) violates EPC.
To withstand strict scrutiny analysis, it must be demonstrated that the University's use of race employs narrowly tailored measures that further compelling gov't interests.
This program is not narrowly tailored because it does not provide individualized consideration.
Makes race a decisive factor.
Ignores critical criteria that are not dependent on race but are associated with it.
Possibility for an application being flagged for individual consideration is little comfort under strict scrutiny analysis.
Do not provide for an individualized review of applicants.
Even the most outstanding national high school leader could never receive more than five points for his or her accomplishments. This is only a quarter of what a URM gets solely based on race.
Stands in sharp contrast to the law school's admissions plan which enables more nuanced judgments.
This is a mechanized system.
(Ginsburg, Souter, Breyer)
Strict scrutiny for AA plans would be fitting were our nation free of discrimination, but we are not. Large disparities endure.
It is proper to distinguish between exclusion and inclusion.
Our jurisprudence ranks race as a "suspect" category not because it is an impermissible classification but because it has always been drawn for the purpose of maintaining inequality.
But, where race is considered to achieve equality, no automatic proscription is in order.
If honesty is the best policy, surely Michigan's accurately described, fully disclosed College AA program is preferable to achieving similar numbers through winks, nods, and disguises.