A Case About Diversity: The Affirmative Action Laswsuits at the University of Michigan

April 1 - April 30, 2010

A Traveling Exhibit about two 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding race and admissions policies
Invited speaker John Payton, Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.


In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on two admissions cases at the University of Michigan (U-M). Grutter v. Bollinger et al. concerned a woman who claimed she was denied admission to the U-M Law School because she was white; the plaintiffs in Gratz et al. v. Bollinger et al. made a similar charge against the university's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

U-M asserted their premise that diversity enriches the lives of all students and society as a whole. They believed their policies were moderate, fair, and structured to achieve the educational benefit of diversity for the entire student body without jeopardizing academic standards or creating a disadvantage for non-minority applicants.

In the first case, the U.S. Supreme Court found for the University of Michigan, holding that the Equal Protection Clause did not prohibit the Law School's use of race in its admissions process to further the compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits of a diverse student body. In the second case, the Court agreed that while diversity was a compelling interest, the manner in which the university considered the race of the undergraduate applicants violated the U.S. Constitution.

Free and open to the public daily, from April 1 to April 30, 2010, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, at Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, 1515 SE Monroe Street, Topeka, Kansas, 66612.

For more information, call the Brown Foundation at (785) 235-3939 or send an email by clicking here.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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