Affirmative action has rich legal history

The 1978 Supreme Court Case, Regents of the University of California vs. Bakke, laid the groundwork for the legal debate over affirmative action in higher education.
In that case, the justices ruled that colleges could use an applicant’s race and ethnicity as a factor in the admission process, but strict quotas were prohibited to remedy past discrimination.
Since that decision, other court rulings have challenged Bakke’s precedent. At the University of Texas Law School, a white woman and three other applicants sued the college for discrimination in 1992. They claimed the college used unfair practices in admitting minority students.
Four years later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and deemed the law school’s affirmative action policy discriminatory against white students. When the school appealed, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
In the Midwest, three white students are suing the University of Michigan, claiming the school’s race-based admissions policies are unfair. The lawsuits filed in 1997 by the Center for Individual Rights have targeted the college’s law school and undergraduate programs.
The Washington, D.C.-based center is a conservative legal group that has represented other students and employees in lawsuits challenging affirmative action, including the plaintiffs in the Texas case.

— Compiled from wire reports.