Season 2: Episode 3: A Discussion of Grutter v. Bollinger
In Season 2, Episode 3 of Notorious, we discuss the case of Grutter v. Bollinger, which involved the question of whether a law school admissions policy that considered race as a factor in admissions violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment or Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The 5-4 majority opinion decided that the law school’s admission policy complied with the Equal Protection Clause and was written by Justice O’Connor and joined in whole by Justice Ginsburg, Justice Stevens, and Justice Breyer. The Court found that the law school’s stated interest that it wanted to maintain diversity of its student body was a compelling government interest and that compelling interest withstood strict scrutiny by the Court.
Justice Ginsburg filed a concurrence, joined by Justice Breyer, agreeing in the judgment and in the overall opinion, but elaborating on Justice O’Connor’s point in reference to the timeline she expected universities and other institutions to maintain race as one of the considerations that go into the admissions process.
For a selection of Justice Ginsburg’s writings, see Decisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Selection, edited by Corey Brettschneider.
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Also, check out the Patterson Belknap podcast, How to Build A Nation in 15 Weeks.