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Regents of the University of California v. Bakke

In Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978), the question before the U.S. Supreme Court was whether a medical school admissions policy that allowed for a separate process for minority applicants was constitutional. The unusual split decision endorsed diversity as a compelling government interest but set limitations on how race could be used in admissions to ensure a diverse student body, with a lasting impact on race-conscious education policy.

Facts of the Case

Alan Bakke, a White male, applied to the University of California at Davis medical school in 1973 and 1974 but was denied admission both times. Bakke then filed suit against the university, alleging so-called reverse discrimination. Bakke also contended that the admissions process discriminated against him on the basis of his race, ...

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