From Bakke to Fisher, evolution of affirmative action cases

Oct 29, 2022, 4:41 PM | Updated: Oct 30, 2022, 4:47 am
FILE - Abigail Fisher, right, who sued the University of Texas, walks outside the Supreme Court in ...

FILE - Abigail Fisher, right, who sued the University of Texas, walks outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Oct. 10, 2012. Fisher, who is white, sued after being rejected in 2008 from the University of Texas at Austin. She argued the university's policy discriminated against her because of race, in violation of the Constitution. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

              FILE - Abigail Fisher, who challenged the use of race in college admissions, joined by lawyer Edward Blum, right, speaks to reporters outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Dec. 9, 2015. Fisher, who is white, sued after being rejected in 2008 from the University of Texas at Austin. She argued the university's policy discriminated against her because of race, in violation of the Constitution. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
            
              FILE - Barbara Grutter poses for a photo in her Plymouth, Mich., home March 20, 2003. Grutter applied to the University of Michigan Law School in 1996. Grutter, who is white, had a 3.8 grade point average but was rejected. She sued for discrimination, claiming the school's policies gave certain minority students a significantly greater chance of admission. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
            
              FILE - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, left, standing with Jennifer Gratz, Chief Executive Officer of XIV Foundation, speaks to reporters after arguing their case before the Supreme Court in Washington, Oct. 15, 2013. Gratz, a white woman who was denied undergraduate admission to the University of Michigan won her case. The Supreme Court agreed that the school's undergraduate admissions system was flawed because it relied too heavily on race. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
            
              FILE - Allan Bakke is hooded by his wife before receiving his degree in medicine during graduation ceremonies at the University of California at Davis, Calif., on June 4, 1982. Their son watches at right. Bakke was in his 30s when he applied to medical school at UC Davis. Rejected twice, Bakke sued. He said the school's decision to set aside 16 seats for minority students in a class of 100 discriminated against him as a white man. The Supreme Court agreed and ordered him admitted. (AP Photo/Walt Zeboski, File)
            
              FILE - Barbara Grutter, left, and Jennifer Gratz, plaintiffs in the University of Michigan affirmative action case are shown before the start of a news conference in Farmington Hills, Mich., Jan. 12, 2004.  (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
            
              FILE - Abigail Fisher, right, who sued the University of Texas, walks outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Oct. 10, 2012. Fisher, who is white, sued after being rejected in 2008 from the University of Texas at Austin. She argued the university's policy discriminated against her because of race, in violation of the Constitution. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will take up the issue of affirmative action again Monday — the second time in six years — but with the conservative majority now generally expected to end the use of race in higher education admissions.

That would be a major shift for the court, which first ruled in favor of affirmative action policies in admissions in 1978. The earlier cases on affirmation action are each known by a single name: Bakke, Grutter, Gratz and Fisher.

During arguments Monday in cases involving North Carolina and Harvard, those names may be used as shorthand for the cases they represent. But real people are behind them.

A look at what they have done since the Supreme Court made their names synonymous with the issue of race in higher education:

Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 1978

Allan Bakke was in his 30s when he applied to the medical school at the University of California, Davis. Rejected twice, Bakke sued. He said the school’s decision to set aside 16 seats for minority students in a class of 100 discriminated against him as a white man. The Supreme Court agreed and ordered him admitted. But the court allowed the use of race as a factor in admission if it was part of an overall evaluation of an applicant. Bakke graduated in 1982 and worked for years as an anesthesiologist in Minnesota. He has kept out of the spotlight since his case.

___

Grutter v. Bollinger, 2003

Barbara Grutter was Michigan resident who applied to the University of Michigan Law School in 1996. Grutter, who is white, had a 3.8 grade point average but was rejected. She sued for discrimination, claiming the school’s policies gave certain minority students a significantly greater chance of admission. The Supreme Court said in a 5-4 decision that the law school’s admissions policy, which considered race as one factor in admissions, was not illegal. The decision allowed the continued use of race in admissions.

The Bollinger in the case was Lee Bollinger, who was sued in his capacity as the university’s then-president. Bollinger, now Columbia University’s president, told reporters recently that he is “worried about the outcome” of the current cases.

___

Gratz v. Bollinger, 2003

The companion case to Grutter’s involved Jennifer Gratz, a white woman denied undergraduate admission to Michigan. Unlike Grutter, Gratz won her case. The Supreme Court agreed that the school’s undergraduate admissions system was flawed because it relied too heavily on race.

Frustrated that affirmative action survived anyway, Gratz was instrumental in Michigan’s passage of Proposal 2, which ended race-based preferences in state university admissions. The ban survived its own trip to the Supreme Court. Gratz went on to open a microbrewery in Florida with her husband.

___

Fisher v. University of Texas, 2013 and 2016

Abigail Fisher is Supreme Court famous twice over. Fisher, who is white, sued after being rejected in 2008 from the University of Texas at Austin. A cello player who also participated in math competitions and did volunteer work, she graduated just shy of the top 10% of her class. She argued the university’s policy discriminated against her because of race, in violation of the Constitution.

Her first Supreme Court case was inconclusive. Three years later, when her case returned to the court, the justices in a narrow ruling upheld the school’s use of affirmative action. Only seven justices ruled in the case, however, because Justice Antonin Scalia had died and Justice Elena Kagan was recused.

Fisher, who has called herself an “introverted person,” graduated from Louisiana State University in 2012 and worked in finance, but she hasn’t given up on the affirmative action issue. Now in her 30s she’s one of the leaders of Students for Fair Admissions, the group that brought the UNC and Harvard cases to the high court. The group’s head is Edward Blum, a former stockbroker who also financially backed Fisher’s original case and other race-based Supreme Court cases.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of the Supreme Court at: https://apnews.com/hub/supreme-courts

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A Boeing 747-8, Boeing's new passenger plane, takes its first flight, Sunday, March 20, 2011...
Associated Press

Boeing’s last 747 to roll out of Washington state factory

After more than half a century, Boeing is set to roll its last 747 out of a Washington state factory on Tuesday.
8 hours ago
President Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, in Was...
Associated Press

WNBA star Griner freed in swap for Russian arms dealer Bout

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia freed WNBA star Brittney Griner on Thursday in a dramatic prisoner exchange, as the U.S. released notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout but failed to win freedom for another American, Paul Whelan, who has been jailed for nearly four years. The swap, at a time of heightened tensions over Ukraine, achieved […]
8 hours ago
FILE - A flyer seeking information about the killings of four University of Idaho students who were...
Associated Press

Idaho police seek car seen near site where 4 students killed

Police are asking for help finding the occupant of a car that was seen near where four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death last month, saying that person could have "critical information" about the case.
1 day ago
Associated Press

Sri Lanka’s Parliamant approves budget amid economic crisis

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s Parliament approved a budget on Thursday that includes reforms aimed at improving the country’s finances as it attempts to recover from its worst economic crisis. The 5.82 trillion rupee ($15 billion) budget includes a 43 billion rupee ($117 million) relief package for those affected by the crisis. The […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Judge unseals documents in gay bar shooter’s earlier case

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A judge on Thursday ordered unsealed documents from the 2021 arrest of the Colorado Springs gay bar shooter following a bomb threat and standoff between the suspect and authorities. Judge Robin Chittum said the public interest in the case outweighed the privacy rights of defendant Anderson Lee Aldrich. More than […]
1 day ago
Deborah Sampson, left, a nurse at a University of Washington Medical Center clinic in Seattle, give...
Associated Press

FDA clears updated COVID-19 vaccines for kids under age 5

U.S. regulators on Thursday cleared doses of the updated COVID-19 vaccines for children younger than age 5. The Food and Drug Administration’s decision aims to better protect the littlest kids from severe COVID-19 at a time when children’s hospitals already are packed with tots suffering from a variety of respiratory illnesses. Omicron-targeted booster shots made […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
From Bakke to Fisher, evolution of affirmative action cases