June 28, 2022

AND SO IT BEGAN:  On this day in 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Regents of the University of California v. Bakke.   Four justices took the position that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act meant exactly what it says—that federally funded universities are forbidden to discriminate in admissions by race.  Four justices seemed happy to tolerate any amount of race discrimination so long as it favored under-represented minorities.  One justice—Lewis Powell, the man in the middle—apparently thought he could open the door to discrimination just a crack.  Colleges and universities promptly blew that door off its hinges.  We’re still paying for Powell’s error in judgment.

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