The United States Supreme Court
The University of Michigan Admissions Lawsuits

Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger


The Charges

Plaintiffs Allege Unlawful Racial Preferences in the Admissions Policies of Michigan's College of Literature, Science and Art, and of Its Law School.

The Principal Question for Decision by the Supreme Court

Does the University of Michigan's use of racial preferences in student admissions violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d), or 42 U.S.C. 1981?

The Legal Provisions Involved

1. The Equal Protection Clause of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment provides that no State shall "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

2. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d, states:

  No person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

3. 42 U.S.C. 1981(a) (2000) states:

  All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, . . . and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property . . . .

The Schedule

Petitions for certiorari granted December 2, 2002
Oral argument before the Court expected April 1, 2003
Decision expected by June, 2003


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