first successfully challenged affirmative action at the Supreme Court level, the big three American Jewish organizations all submitted amicus curiae briefs opposing affirmative action admissions policies in support of Bakke.
After 36 years since the Bakke case
, years of endless pettifoggery -- parsing exactly how many spoonfuls of racial discrimination are permitted in exactly which circumstance -- the court has its epiphany: Let the people decide.
Before the decade was over the president had resigned, but the keen political sense that Katznelson attributes to him played out when challenges to affirmative action found a national stage in the Bakke case
(16) The setting for the challenge to the few legal benefits afforded African Americans in higher education came in the Bakke case
. (17) Unsurprisingly, in a narrowly split decision, Justice Powell announced that while separate benefits designed to attract and matriculate minorities were prohibited, affirmative action plans involving racial classification were permissible under the Fourteenth Amendment.
It has been a thorny issue for the courts, especially since the high court's Bakke case
By uncovering the stormy inner debates surrounding the AJC's position against the University of California's race-based affirmative action program in the Bakke case
of 1978, for instance, Sanua complicates the popular notion that Jews unequivocally opposed affirmative action.
The approach the Justices had accepted with little fanfare in Webster seemed an ideal template for deciding the highly publicized, bitterly controversial Bakke case
Finally, it is difficult to maintain that the United States is the quintessential case of institutional decentralization--viewed as a feature that has offered significant opportunities for racial incorporation--when the Supreme Court was one vote shy of ending affirmative action in higher education both in the 1978 Bakke case
and in the 2003 Grutter decision, thus illustrating that one person sitting in Washington has had the power to sweep away affirmative action with the stroke of a pen.
But, it also maintained that under no circumstance should an institution use criteria based on exclusivity of other races as a legitimate policy as was the instance in the Bakke case
because "the guarantee of equal protection could not mean one thing when applied to one individual and something else when applied to another.
Howard Ball discusses the Bakke case
, permitting affirmative action in higher education, as a barometer of racial attitudes.
Loyalty oath issues have been examined extensively (Gardner, 1967; Schrecker, 1986); the free speech movement figures in a number of studies (Stadtman, 1970; Kerr, 2001); scholarship on the Bakke case
still rains down upon the landscape, especially as Hopwood fragged through the Fifth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court accepted the Michigan cases (Gratz; Grutter), calling Bakke's continued vitality into question; Jim Hightower scathingly reviewed the role of agribusiness in UC policies in his screed, Hard Tomatoes, Hard Times (Hightower, 1973); while the California Civil Rights Initiative history was central to books by Lydia Chavez (Chavez, 1998), Peter Schrag (Schrag, 1998), and Robert Post and Michael Rogin (Post and Rogin, 1996).
In the law school case, the Court allowed race to continue to be considered in order to achieve educational diversity, reaffirming the 1978 Bakke case
. This was obviously a great victory in light of the current attacks on diversity.