Regents of University of California v. Bakke (1978)
• Bakke: had twice previously been denied access to the university.
• Bakke had high scores on the medical aptitude test and good grades at kent state and
university of Minnesota. He is 33, old to be admitted to medical school and he had a poor
• Assistant admissions officer gave him data about the standards by which the affirmative
action took place.Armed with that data and the assistant admissions officer Bakke could
• Bakke wins in the lower courts and California Supreme Court who ordered a stay to
make sure Bakke didn’t go to another law school before the case was decided.
• Defunis v. Odegaard (1974): precedent: there was no stay ordered so he graduated from
another law university
• Equal Protection Clause of the 14 Amendment: Bakke’s argument
• State: civil rights act, compelling state interest, and retribution. Benefits of diversity on
campus.Admitted minorities would go back to their roots and help those in need:
compelling state interest.
• Court said: the compelling state interest argument was weak, fails the strict scrutiny test.
Dissent in Plessy said Colorblind Constitution: argued in Bakke heavily.
• Outcome: 4 to 4 split and Powell had to write a decision in the median: in this case
affirmative action was not ok, but if race was one of many factors, it could be considered. • 1979: private industry negotiated affirmative action in steel workers union and was held
City of Richmond v. JACroson (1989)
• Dealt with con