Legal Briefs

Grutter v. Bollinger

In the name of “educational diversity,” the University of Michigan School of Law relied upon a preferential admissions process that ensured that a “critical mass” of minority applicants would be admitted. The “critical mass” was allegedly intended to provide adequate representation of favored minority groups so that their members would feel supported in expressing their opinions. This admissions practice resulted in odds of being admitted that were tens to hundreds of times higher for members of preferred ethnic groups than those for similarly-situated members of non-preferred groups. Cato’s brief argues that the use of racial preferences to achieve a “critical mass” of minority students exceeds the limited privilege, recognized in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, permitting the consideration of race as a factor in an individualized determination of an applicant’s merits. Further, the pursuit of educational diversity is not a compelling justification for the use of racial preferences under the Equal Protection Clause.

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