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In Gratz v. Bollinger (2003), White applicants who were not admitted as undergraduates to the University of Michigan filed suit claiming racial discrimination. In a companion case, Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), another plaintiff challenged the University of Michigan Law School admissions process. Both cases drew extensive media coverage, as approximately 100 amicus (friend of the court) briefs were filed by a variety of organizations to provide the Supreme Court with additional evidence and arguments. The Supreme Court threw out the undergraduate policy (Gratz), while sustaining the other (Grutter).

Gratz and Grutter were controversial because the undergraduate and law school admissions policies at the University of Michigan included voluntary race-based affirmative action to ensure the educational benefits of a diverse student body. Both cases raised the question ...

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