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Powell and a "properly tailored affirmative action program"Edit

The quote attributed to Justice Powell--"a properly tailored affirmative action program designed to promote diversity could survive strict judicial scrutiny"--appears in no opinion for this case and is not cited in this article. A Google search shows what look like pages reproduced from and references to Wikipedia. The addition appears 10 June 2010 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:15, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

From the following contemporaneous news article, Justice Powell used a somewhat different phrase---"a properly devised admissions program"---as part of his decision.
Court decides in favor of Bakke, Deseret News (Salt Lake City), Washington (UPI), June 28, 1978, 1A (above the fold), 12A:
‘ . . . Justice Lewis Powell, writing the swing opinion, said California courts in barring consideration of race in admissions programs “failed to recognize that the state has a substantial interest that legitimately may be served by a properly devised admissions program involving the competitive consideration of race and ethnic origin.”’
And if "properly tailored" has become the common, oft-repeated phrase, I think we should say "properly tailored" has become the common, oft-repeated phrase. And at the same time, we should also say, What Justice Powell actually wrote is . . . FriendlyRiverOtter (talk) 01:54, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Relevant ContentEdit

Is this snippet relevant to the case at hand? "[Bakke's] lowest score of 86 was from Dr. Lowrey who found Bakke was "rather limited in his approach" to the problems of the medical profession and stated Bakke's "very definite opinions which were based more on his personal viewpoints than upon a study of the total problem" were disturbing." Nothing more is ever stated about this... -- Xanadu 18:08, 17 May 2005 (UTC) the "Post-decision" section discussing one former student's malpractice relevant? It's intended to lead the reader to the conclusion that none of the black students were qualified to enter medical school, but using one individual's story to discredit the qualifications of an entire class of people is illogical. And besides is that event related to the outcome of the case?

Alleged bias in articleEdit

To clarify the POV claim made by User:Twp: unlike a previous edit by User:, who described the Court as having "twisted logic" in their decision, I am not including my own POVs in this article - the truth of the matter is, and those on the far left will even acknowledge it, that qualified and competent white students are often denied admission to universities today as a result of this case which legalized affirmative action, myself being one of them. Sebastian Prospero 19:42, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Hi! Here are the things that I specifically think aren't appropriate for Wikipedia, and why:
    • "was denied admission despite being well qualified." "Well qualified" is a subjective claim.
    • "they decided the would admit a minimum of 8 minority students, regardless of how qualified and competent the white students, also vying for admission, might have been." This suggests something about the fairness of the admission policy that I don't think is appropriate for Wikipedia. The encyclopedia entry should report on what the policy was and what the court decision was; it shouldn't make additional implications about whether the University was right.
    • attempt to justify, ambiguous, they believed that, it was evident that -- these all editorialize about the University's motives in a particularly unverifiable way.
    • The special admissions process had been set up so that no white applicant would ever qualify... To protect itself from accusations of racism... also make unverifiable claims about what the University's goals were.
Tim Pierce 18:16, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
  • In its analysis of the case, the article refers to "the regular applicants" in opposition to "minority." -- does the article mean to refer to "the white applicants"? Implies minority applicants are "irregular" somehow. Or that white applicants are more "regular." I suggest replacing "regular" with a more accurate term. Krguest 03:30, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Hi. The "post-decision" part of the article is inaccurate. You cannot say that any particular student was "admitted in place of Bakke." In fact, given Bakke's age, you can't say he could have gotten in in place of anyone. Although the school could not prove beyond doubt that Bakke would have been rejected, his middlish GPA and high age would have most likely resulted in his rejection had the school not had a "special admissions program." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:36, 16 February 2012
  • I agree with the "post-decision" problem--I think it should be removed from the article.


In order to apply to the school, an applicant had to have a minimum of over 2.5.

I assume the article is referring to GPA, but either way it needs clarification.

6-2 or 5-4Edit

The article states the decision was 6-2, and later states it was 5-4. I assume the decision was actually 5-4 because of the list of justices for and against, and because that adds to 9 justices. Furthermore the only sites i could find which mentioned a 6-2 decision in this case were wikipedia mirrors.


Does this ruling pertain to all college and university admissions, or only those of public institutions?--Pharos 03:47, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Just public schools.Krguest 03:31, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Note that this case was completely overhauled by Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) and Gratz v. Bollinger (2003). Also, California got rid of A/A in the UC system with Prop. 209, amending their state constitution, in 1996.Krguest 03:32, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Does this case declare affirmative action constitutional?Edit

The article states: "It bars quota systems in college admissions but affirms the constitutionality of affirmative action programs giving equal access to minorities."

As far as I know, the case did not affirm the constitutionality of affirmative action programs; the majority opinion discussed possible kinds of affirmative action programs and said that those that take factors other than just race into account, such as Harvard's, (which Powell described,) were fine, but that affirmative action programs based solely on race were unconstitutional. Can anyone clarify this point? Thinkgood (talk) 08:52, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

I appreciate someone actually taking an interest in the accuracy of a case article. Too often we are arguing semantics or "wiki-mantics".
The simple answer to your question is yes, it affirms the constitutionality of affirmative action in the sense that it doesn't declare it unconstitutional. As is the case in most opinions with regard to affirmative action, the Court remained silent in Bakke as to whether affirmative action was constitutional, but narrowed the scope. The Court remaining "silent" as opposed to striking down all affirmative action leaves the programs on the table.

I disagree with your analysis that by not declaring all affirmative action programs unconstitutional, it affirms the constitutionality of affirmative action programs. The Stevens plurality opinion, joined by Chief Justice Burger and Justices Stewart and Rehnquist made it clear that they did not consider whether race could ever be a factor an issue in this case and thus did not opine on that. The other plurality opinion of Brennan, White, Marshall and Blackmun expressed that race could be used as a basis for admissions, i.e., people could be excluded just because of their race, if it was to remedy some form of chronic discrimination. That is a 4-4 split on the issue of whether race could be the basis for consideration for admission. Only Powell alone said that race could not be the basis but it could be a factor but only for the purpose of diversity in the classroom. In other words the Supreme Court did not rule in Bakke one way or another on affirmative action programs. Not ruling against something is not the same as affirming something. It just means that the Court hasn't ruled one way or the other and technically down the road all affirmative action programs could be held unconstitutional, some could be held unconstitutional or affirmative action programs could be constitutional as long as they met some stated criteria.

It is true that subsequently lower courts seized on Powell's view -- that race could not be a Basis to exclude but it could be a factor in achieving diversity in the learning environment. But that is just the custom of lower courts to follow the compromise opinion (which Powell's was) when there is no clearcut majority . It was until decades later in Grutter that the Supreme Court finally affirmed the lone 1978 view of Powell's.

I just did a major edit of the analysis of the decision. But I neglected to summarize its nature before posting. Is it possible to put that in after the fact? Justitia Pax (talk) 04:56, 24 March 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Justitia Pax (talkcontribs) 04:54, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

In the case of Bakke (as well as numerous subsequent cases), the Court said that affirmative action programs that are based simply on the basis of race are unconstitutional. However, affirmative action programs that take race into account as one of the factors to consider, but not the only factor, are permissible. Subsequently, many universities have tailored their affirmative action programs to be based on a number of factors that apply to most minorities as well as the fact that they are minorities under the theory of promoting cultural diversity in their university and have been held to be constitutional, even though race is a large factor, because race is not the only factor. Skyler1534 (talk) 12:18, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your reply. I tend to take Wikipedia's accuracy for granted and only just joined as a member when I read this and said, "Hey, that doesn't sound quite right."

So essentially speaking, this case did NOT affirm the constitutionality of affirmative action; it left it open ended. Is there any way that we can edit that into the article? I think that it's misleading to say that this case affirmed the constitutionality of affirmative action programs. Thinkgood (talk) 07:15, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I understand the point you are making, Thinkgood, and I appreciate you making it, but what's confusing you is Supreme Court conventions. The Court rarely says anything is constutional unless they have to. Before it goes to Court, if a similar issue has not previously been dealt with, every law or program is presumed to be constitutional until the Court rules otherwise. So while they did not come right out and say that affirmative action is constitutional, their silence on the point of making it unconstitutional implies that it is.
While I understand this may be a little confusing, it comes down to Court conventions. In Bakke, they were asked to strike the program as a whole as unconstitutional. If they had made a broad sweep and said that affirmative action programs of this sort are per se unconstitutional, then it would be different. However, the fact that they declared programs which use race-only as impermissible, but they clarified that other forms (as long as they include more factors than race) are allowed affirms the constitutionality of affirmative action in general.
Many times, when I write on the subject of constitutional law, it gets a bit confusing, so you may have to read the above two paragraphs more than once (and I apologize for that). Still, the bottom line is that law journals and case studies would (and have) stated that Bakke upheld the constitutionality of affirmative action programs as a whole simply by not striking them, so the article should reflect the same meaning. Skyler1534 (talk) 11:34, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Again, as above I have to disagree with you. I have the Bakke case here right in front of me (I am reading ti for an article I am writing myself) and what I wrote above and in my revision on the decision on Wikipedia is accurate. Though it is true that subsequent judicial decisions took Powell's lone approach that race could be a factor for the specific purpose of diversity in the classroom-- the Bakke case itself did not rule on that -- Only Powell opined that view. Justitia Pax (talk) 05:04, 24 March 2010 (UTC)


I was referencing this article for some research, and it would appear that some form of vandalism has rendered this page nigh unto totally useless and empty of helpful information. In the history I can see that it used to be a good article, but I don't know enough (am not confident enough) to change anything back, and I wouldn't know what version to put in place. I'm looking for some help or advice on how to put this back to being a decent page worth visiting... BlueLily91 (talk) 03:35, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

okay, maybe this doesn't need to be in here, but what about the Superior Court of Yolo County who first heard the case and decided that the University of California's special admissions program was unconstitutional but did not demand Bakke's entrance since Bakke could not prove that he would not have been admitted had there not been such a program (the Supreme Court of California and the United States Supreme Court looked at the flip side of this and demanded Bakke's admission since the U. of Cal. could not prove that Bakke would not have been admitted had there not been a special admissions program). and the judges didn't seem so much divided amongst each others but rather, divided in themselves. for instance, Justice Powell wrote the opinion deciding that the U. of California's special admissions program was unconstitutional but that race could be considered one of a variety of factors when considering applicants. there was a concurring opinion signed by three justices that also partially dissented. AND, there was the dissenting opinion which also partly concurred and was signed by Justice Powell (rather interesting to have the writer of the majority opinion sign the dissenting opinion as well). oh, and another justice (Stevens, i think) wrote his own opinion). my point is that the justices seemed rather at odds with this case and were not so rigidly decisive as the article suggests. perhaps this has no place in a wikipedia article--i jus thought that the article wasn't capturing what this case is really about and how it was handled. sodakota22 (talk) 7:36, 14 May 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

A bunch of IP editors came around and blanked several sections, and a few of them blatantly vandalized as well. I removed the vandalism, but some sections are still blanked, just giving people a heads-up if they want to look at the edit history. (talk) 03:54, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

BAKKE & THE POLITICS OF EQUALITY by Timothy O’Neill (1985)Edit

BAKKE & THE POLITICS OF EQUALITY: Friends and Foes in the Classroom of Litigation, Timothy J. O’Neill, Wesleyan University Press (Connecticut), distributed by Harper & Row, 1985, pages 20-60.

Allan Bakke considered too old at age 33?Edit

Bakke was rejected by UC Davis and ten other medical schools he applied to.

page 22:

‘ . . . Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) . . . ninety-seventh percentile in scientific knowledge, ninety-sixth in verbal ability, and ninety-fourth in quantitative analysis. He ranked in the seventy-second percentile in general knowledge. His statement of purpose was articulate and his letters of recommendation were strong. In March of 1973 Bakke was invited for an interview. The faculty member who conducted the interview described him as “a well-qualified candidate for admission whose main hardship is the unavoidable fact that he is now 33. . . . [ellipses in book] On the grounds of motivation, academic records, potential promise, endorsement by persons capable of reasonable judgments, personal appearance and decorum, maturity, and probable contribution to balance in the class, I believe Mr. Bakke must be considered as a very desirable applicant and I shall so recommend him.”[4] . . ’

4. Report of Dr. Theodore West to the Davis medical school admissions committee, quoted in the Record of the lower court’s findings (in Bakke v. Regents of the University of California, Superior Court of the State of California, County of Yolo, Super. Crt. No. 31287 (1974). [Herafter cited as Bakke (Yolo Cty, Calif., Superior Ct)]) on file with the Office of the Clerk of the United States Supreme Court, pp. 224-25.

Bakke missed early admissionsEdit

page 22:

“In March of 1973 Bakke was invited for an interview. . .

“ . . . However, despite 468 points out of a possible 500 on the admissions committee’s rating scale, Bakke was not admitted. Bakke completed his application late because his mother was ill. Earlier in the year, a rating of 470 had won “automatic admission” with some promising applicants being admitted with lower scores.[5] But by March the number of remaining slots were few, and Bakke received notice of his rejection on May 14, 1973. . . ”

5. Robert Lindsey, “White/Caucasian—And Rejected,” New York Times Magazine, April 3, 1977, p. 44. Unfortunately, there are no specific figures indicating how many applicants with scores lower than 470 were admitted in 1973. Neither the court record nor any of the briefs contain this information, and the Davis medical school admissions office refused to publish this data.

There is a conflict between sources. Is the person Allan's mother or his mother-in-law?
Bakke: A Man Driven To Become a Doctor, Robert Lindsey (New York Times News Service), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 29, 1978, page 8.
“ . . . Late in 1972, his mother-in-law, who lived in Iowa, became ill with lung cancer, and Bakke and his wife, Judy, were required to spend considerable time with her before her death. Because of his absence, Bakke did not complete all the paperwork for consideration as an applicant until Jan. 9, 1973. . . ”
and by the same author . .
"Focus of Historic Battle in Civil Rights Law; Allan Paul Bakke Man in the News From Minnesota to Florida Attended Night Classes[;] Admission and Lower Scores Legal Fight Begins." New York Times, by ROBERT LINDSEY, Special to The New York Times, June 29, 1978, page A22.‎
$3.95 -
New York Times - Jun 29, 1978

Book Review Santa Clara Law Review, Santa Clara Law Digital Commons, project conducted by the Heafey Law Library, 2001. Review of The Bakke Case: Race, Education, and Affirmative Action, Howard Ball, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, Kansas), 2000, Pp. 231.
page 285 (10 in PDF)
" . . . When Bakke initially applied to UCD his benchmark score was 468 out of a possible 500 points.[47] However, he had applied late because of his mother-in-law's serious illness.[48] . . "

The Constitution, that delicate balance, Fred W. Friendly, Martha, J. H. Elliott. See the snippet on page 216.

Bakke all but invited to sue UC Davis?Edit

pages 23-24:

[Assistant Dean Peter C. Storandt]

‘Storandt “told Bakke his candidacy had come close and urged him to reapply. If he were not accepted, he could then research the legal question. He had been a good candidate. I thought he’d be accepted and that would end the matter.”[8]

‘Storandt gave Bakke the names of two lawyers who were interested in the issue of affirmative action. The candor of his advice to Bakke led several groups later to charge collusion between Bakke and the university. Ralph Smith, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania and chairman of the National Conference of Black Lawyers’ Task Force on Legal Education and Bar Admissions insisted that “Allan Bakke was virtually invited to sue the U.C. Davis Medical School by a University official.” Smith concluded that it was the university, not Bakke, “who is opposed to minority admissions programs.”[9] The general counsel for the University of California, Donald L. Reidhaar, called such charges “ridiculous.”[10] He later said, “I don’t think Storandt meant to injure the university. It’s simply an example of a non-lawyer advising on legal matters.”[11] Storandt agreed, “I simply gave Allan the response you’d give an irate customer, to try and cool his anger. I realized the university might be vulnerable to legal attack because of its quota, and I had the feeling by then that somebody somewhere would sue the school, but I surely didn’t know this would be the case.”[12] Whatever the truth behind the charges of collusion, Storandt was demoted and later resigned to accept a position as associate dean of admissions at Oberlin College.[13]’

8. Quoted in Carol Benfell, “Should the Constitution Really be Colorblind?”, Barrister 4 (Fall 1977), pp. 52-53.

9. Ralph Smith, “Examining the Merits of the Bakke Case,” The Daily Pennsylvanian (the student newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania), March 4, 1977, p. 4. The letters exchanged between Bakke and Storandt are reprinted in Appendix A, “Brief of Amici Curiae for the National Urban League, et al., on Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court of the State of California,” pp 1a-8a.

10. Quoted in “The Furor Over Reverse Discrimination,” Newsweek, September 26, 1977, p. 54.

11. Quoted in Benfell, “Should the Constitution Really be Colorblind?,” p. 17.

12. Ibid., pp. 53-54.

13. See Ibid., p. 17, and letter from Peter Storandt to Newsweek, November 14, 1977, p. 6.

See also . . .
Supreme Court Milestones, The Bakke Case: Challenging affirmative action, Rebecca Stefoff, 2006, page 71.

Bakke: A Man Driven To Become a Doctor, Robert Lindsey (New York Times News Service), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 29, 1978, page 8.

“ . . . The letter was answered by Storandt, who was then the manager of medical school admissions at Davis and is now an admissions officer at Yale University. Storandt sympathized with Bakke and tacitly encouraged him to challenge the minority preference program in court.
“When Bakke again submitted an application at Davis in the summer of 1973, it was rejected again, and there is evidence in the files of the university that his complaints were considered in this decision at least as much as his grades and test scores. . . ”

abuse of power by chair of admissions committee?Edit

pages 24-25:

[Chair of Admissions Committee Dr. George H. Lowrey]

‘In a letter to Storandt dated August 7, 1973, Bakke outlined his plan. He would reapply to Davis under an early admissions program. He would simultaneously prepare to sue Davis, Stanford Universtiy Medical School, or the University of California Medical School at San Francisco, should he fail in his second application.[14] Having reapplied, Bakke was again invited for an interview. The student interviewer described Bakke as “friendly, well-tempered, conscientious and delightful to speak with,” and concluded, “I would give him a sound recommendation for [a] medical career.”[15] The faculty interviewerer was less enthusiastic. The chairman of the admissions committee, Dr. George H. Lowrey, decided to interview Bakke himself. He found Bakke “disturbing,” noting, “[H]e had very definite opinions which were based more on his personal viewpoint than upon the total problem. He was very unsympathetic to the concept of recruiting minority students so that they hopefully would go back to practice in the neglected areas of the country. . . . [ellipses in book] My own impression of Mr. Bakke is that he is a rather rigidly oriented young man who has a tendency to arrive at conclusions based more upon his personal impressions than upon thoughtful processes using available sources of information.”[16] None of the parties in the lawsuit nor the organizations filing amicus curiae briefs, save one, explored the First Amendment and due process issues raised by Lowrey’s interviewing of Bakke, and that one did so only in passing.[17]

‘Using a newly expanded rating system, the five members of the committee gave Bakke scores of 96, 94, 92, 87, and 86 out of a possible 100 points. Storandt gave Bakke the 92; the student member gave him the 94; the lowest rating, 86, came from Lowrey. Bakke received an aggregate score of 549 out of a possible 600 and was denied admission for a second time.[18] His attorneys would later argue that, despite the fact that Bakke’s grade point average and performance on the MCAT were higher than those of the average regular admittee [Emphasis added], Lowrey had intentionally “penalize[d]” Bakke for challenging the special admissions program by “downgrading” his interview score. This was enough, his attorneys asserted, to make the difference between acceptance or rejection by the school.[19]’

14. Letter from Allan Bakke to Peter C. Storandt, August 7, 1973, reproduced in “Brief of Amici Curiae for the National Urban League, et al.” Bakke (U.S. Supr. Ct.), pp. 4a-6a.

15. Record, Bakke (Yolo County, Calif., Superior Ct.), pp. 228-29.

16. Ibid., pp. 225-26.

17. “To the extent Bakke’s second rejection was predicated upon his political opposition to the University’s special admissions project, the rejection raises serious First Amendment questions” (“Brief of the American Jewish Committee, et al., Amici Curiae”, Bakke (U.S. Supr. Ct.), p. 8 n. 5).

18. “Brief for Respondent,” Bakke (U.S. Supr. Ct.), pp. 9 and 13.

19. “Brief of Plaintiff, Respondent, and Cross-Appellant,” Bakke v. Regents of the University of California, 553 P. 2d 1152 (1976), p. 41. [This case hereafter cited as Bakke (Calif. Supr. Ct.)].

Yeah, it seems like the chair of the admissions committee was being a first-rate jerk, trying to argue with Bakke and get him 'to see the other side.' (when his whole future is on the line? . . . Well Sir, would you have so easily given up your medical dream?) Probably worth including, especially if we can find on the web some of this supporting documentation.
And it's amazing that Allan Bakke had both higher GPA and higher MCAT than the average person who was admitted. Wow. Sure seems like subjective factors, probably most of all his age, worked against him. (altough to me, age 33 almost sounds like the ideal age to start becoming a doctor) FriendlyRiverOtter (talk) 22:33, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

I would agree with you, FriendlyRiverOtter, that 33 seems to be an ideal age to start becoming a doctor -- however, ageism (as well as sexism and racism) were quite strong back then. Being anything over 25 was considered "old", particularly to start something as rigorous as medical school. It was virtually impossible to get admitted to med school after that age (and it was as equally impossible to get admitted if you were a woman -- regardless of your age.) Another example of the "ageist" attitudes back then -- a woman who was having her first child after the age of 29 was labeled by the medical profession as an "elderly primigravida." (BTW -- I am also Justitia Pax -- I couldn't remember my user name when I made the edits discussed above.)Justitia1 (talk) 09:07, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Hi, Welcome back to Wikipedia! :) I think a lot of articles can use a fair amount of help, and please dive in anywhere the spirit moves you and anywhere you think you can make a positive difference. Now, regarding this article, Bakke vs. UC Davis is usually viewed as part of the whole philosophical discussion regarding reverse discrimation. But, what I am reading is that the age discrimination aspect is just as significant. And how many students admitted through children of VIPs and that kind of thing as compared to the special admissions program? But . . . the case played out along the lines of civil rights and race. As far as adding to our article here, I favor the approach of using a variety of good sources. (I think trying to find a small number of 'the best' sources often ends up being a perfectionist trap.) FriendlyRiverOtter (talk) 22:12, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

See also . . .

special admissions program did not expand beyond category of raceEdit

pages 26-27:

‘The trial record indicated that while 272 whites considered by Davis as disadvantaged had applied to the program during the years 1971 to 1974, none had been accepted under the special admissions rationale. It is not clear whether disadvantaged white applicants had been interviewed by the task force. Dr. Lowrey said no;[23] a member of the committee asserted that they had been.[24]’

23. Record, Bakke (Yolo County, Calif., Superior Ct.), pp. 64-66, 86, 168, 195-96, 201-33, 388.

24. Letter to the editor of the Sacramento Bee from Dr. Sarah D. Grey, past Task Force Chairperson, January 4, 1977, reproduced in Appendix B, “Brief of Amici Curiae for the National Urban League, et al.,” p. 10a.

And this brings up the whole issue of class-based affirmative action, perhaps in addition, perhaps in substitution of race-based affirmative action. And we can also improve elementary, junior high, and senior high schools so that more kids of all backgrounds have real opportunities for a quality education (easier said than done).
All the same, the question does remains, What are we going to do about getting more African-American, Hispanic American, Asian-American, and Native American physicians for this generation?
And I'm not saying I have ready answers, for I certainly do not. FriendlyRiverOtter (talk) 19:08, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

occasional exceptions to rank-ordering process for veterans and applicants with unusual recordsEdit

page 21:

‘ . . . joined the Marine Corps to fulfill his Naval ROTC obligation. Bakke served four years with the corps. During seven months service as a commanding officer of an antiaircraft battery in Vietnam, he first began to think about attending medical school.[1] He was honorably discharged with the rank of captain . . . [2]’

1. “Brief for Respondent,” p. 3, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978). [This case hereafter cited as Bakke (U.S. Supr. Ct.).]

2. Robert Lindsey, “White/Caucasian—And Rejected,” New York Times Magazine, April 3, 1977, p. 43.

page 27:

‘ . . . Occasionally, exceptions to this rank-ordering process were made for veterans and applicants with unusual records.[25]

25. Record, Bakke (Yolo County, Calif., Superior Ct.), pp. 62-63, 150-59.

And so, Allan Bakke is cut no slack even though he is a veteran!
So yes, I think it can be said, with this added to his above-average grades, the medical school decision-makers kept coming back to the fact of his age.
And I think a lot of it comes down to is this: Once the university made a decision---for any reason---they sure don't want to be questioned about it. FriendlyRiverOtter (talk) 21:13, 14 February 2013 (UTC) FriendlyRiverOtter (talk) 02:26, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

According to LA Times, school dean sometimes intervened for sons and daughters of university's "special friends"Edit

page 27:

The Los Angeles Times also reported that the medical school dean intervened on behalf of the sons and daughters of the university’s “special friends” to improve their admissions chances.[26] . . ’

26. “Medical Dean Aids ‘Special Interest’ Applicants,” Los Angeles Times, July 5, 1976, pp. 1, 3

Additional references on age discrimination aspectEdit

Supreme Court Milestones, The Bakke Case: Challenging affirmative action, Rebecca Stefoff, 2006, page 11:

“ . . . Before the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 became law in 1979, medical schools openly favored younger applicants over older ones. . . ”

America in Black and White, Stephan Thernstrom, Abigail Thernstrom, a Touchstone Book published by Simon & Schuster, 1997.

" . . . By the time he applied to the medical school at the Universtiy of California at Davis in 1973, he was in his early thirties, and his age was a serious handicap. (Professional schools in the days before the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 seldom trained students who had been out of college for more than a few years.) On the other hand, Bakke's credentials were excellent. His grade record was stronger than that of most regular admittees, and his MCAT scores were much better. . . "

No Merit System Is Fully Objective, Ellen Goodman, Editorial, Milwaukee Sentinel, Sept. 24, 1977, page 13.

“ . . . Now, it’s always seemed to me that Bakke had a better case for age discrimination than race. At 32, he was rejected by 13 medical schools, not one. . . ”

quotas---no. affirmative action---yes.Edit

Court decides in favor of Bakke, Deseret News [Salt Lake City], Washington (UPI), June 28, 1978, 1A (above the fold), 12A:

‘The Supreme Court ruled today Allan Bakke must be admitted to the University of California . . . ’

‘ . . . Bakke, a 38-year-old white engineer . . . ’

‘ . . . UC Davis, under an affirmative action admissions program, had set aside 16 of 100 openings for minority applicants . . . ’

‘ . . . It took the justices more than one hour to read their six separate opinions . . . ’

‘ . . . in forming a new program the school may use race as a factor. . . ’

‘ . . . Justice Lewis Powell, writing the swing opinion, said California courts in barring consideration of race in admissions programs “failed to recognize that the state has a substantial interest that legitimately may be served by a properly devised admissions program involving the competitive consideration of race and ethnic origin.”’

‘And Brennan, Byron White, Thurgood Marshall and Harry Blackmun joined to say the decision “affirms the constitutional power of federal and state government to act affirmatively to achieve equal opportunity for all.”

‘Powell said the Davis program was unconstitutional and Bakke’s admission must be upheld because after the California courts had ruled in his favor, the university conceded it could not prove Bakke still would have been barred had there been no minority program.

‘Chief Justice Warren Burger and Justices John Paul Stevens, Potter Stewart and William Rehnquist said the program violated a section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which bars discrimination in federally funded programs. . . ’

Court Orders Medical School Admit Bakke, Nashua Telegraph [New Hampshire], Washington (AP), June 28, 1978, page 2:

“The Supreme Court today ordered a California medical school to admit Allan Bakke, deciding that the school had illegally discriminated against him because he is white.

“The court, in a splintered decision that yielded six separated opinions, ruled that the University of California’s medical school at Davis is not barred from taking race into account in a future admissions program. . . ”

The Gazette, (Montreal), “Bakke and blacks both win,” Editorial, page 6, June 29, 1978:

‘ . . . the U.S. Supreme Court has come up with a brilliant solution. It ruled that Mr. Bakke must be admitted to the medical school that rejected him, but at the same time it upheld the constitutionality of “affirmative action” programs. . . ’

‘ . . . The vote was 5-to-4 for Mr. Bakke and 5-to-4 for affirmative action, though it was not the same five in both instances. Altogether there were six decisions as the justices felt their way through this prickly legal and social thicket. . . ’

‘ . . . The problem of reconciling equality of opportunity for individuals with remedial justice for minorities is one face by any society in Canada with linguistic groups and native peoples no less than in the United States. . . ’

‘ . . . It was not what the medical school was trying to do that was intolerable: it was the way that it did it – reserving 16 per cent of its places for minority applicants. Justice Lewis Powell pointedly contrasted the University of California policy with that at Harvard, where race or ethnic background can be a “plus” for an individual without insulating him “from comparison with all other candidates for the available seats.” . . ’

‘ . . . And Allan Bakke, who five years ago was judged by an interviewer to be facing his “last chance” because of his age, then 33, will be getting his first.’

use of quotation marks for ethnic groups?Edit

Our article currently reads: "Blacks," "Chicanos," "Asians," and "American Indians", with the quotation marks in the article. Maybe a writer is trying to make a point that such groups are largely artificial and we're all human beings afterall. If so, there are plenty of critics and commentators making this and similar points. It would be better for an encyclopedia to use one of these quotes.

And, this is just plain unusual writing, and I'm not sure an encyclopedia is the best place to experiment with unusual writing.

So, I'm planning to go ahead and remove the quotation marks. And, as always, open offer. I think the article can use a fair amount of help. If this is a topic that interests you, please, jump in and help out. :>) FriendlyRiverOtter (talk) 17:39, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Some follow-up news item(s) and case(s), and Kaiser AluminumEdit

Additional referencesEdit <-- a seemingly good summary by the general counsel of Brown University, but then, I am not a lawyer. FriendlyRiverOtter (talk) 22:22, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Constitutional Law for a Changing America: Rights, Liberties, and Justice, Lee Epstein, Thomas G. Walker, CQ Press (SAGE Publications, Inc), 2013, page 692. See chart at bottom of page.

Joining onEdit

I think we should model the article after FAs which are about Supreme Court cases, such as this.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:48, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

There should probably be some legal background.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:31, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, both of these sound like good ideas. FriendlyRiverOtter (talk) 20:24, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

GA ReviewEdit

This review is transcluded from Talk:Regents of the University of California v. Bakke/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Khazar2 (talk · contribs) 02:53, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

I'll be glad to take this one. Comments in the next 1-3 days. Thanks in advance for your work on it! -- Khazar2 (talk) 02:53, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

  • UC Davis needs to be meet consistent (with hyphen or without, with periods or without). -- Khazar2 (talk) 03:03, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

I only made it through the lead tonight and glanced at the rest, but my first impression is that this looks quite good. Shouldn't be much to do before passing. Will finish tomorrow, hopefully. -- Khazar2 (talk) 03:08, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

  • "This was unsatisfactory to black students and activists of the late 1960s" -- unclear in this phrasing if the activists who felt this way were also black--which it doesn't like they would all be.
  • Should Navy ROTC be Naval instead? It looks like that's where the article is.
  • "Dr. Theodore West" -- is this the interviewer, I take it? That might be clarified. -- Khazar2 (talk) 01:00, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

I've made it through the first pass of the article, and this looks solid. It covers the main aspects (I double-checked it against the Encyclopedia of the American Constitution entry), is well-referenced, and neutral. Only a few minor action points above, and I'll proceed to the checklist. -- Khazar2 (talk) 01:00, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Yea!!! I think we've done really well. Thank you, Khazar2. And thank you, Wehwalt. I may have helped out a little, but it's the two of you who did the heavy lifting. Your efforts took an article which was good and made it even better, easily reaching GA status. Yea!!! And if we have the energy, maybe keep rolling? I mean, try and make it even better if we can! FriendlyRiverOtter (talk) 21:02, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Oh, you did some work too. Once the dust settles, I would suggest listing it for a peer review and look at nominating it for Featured Article after that.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:22, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
I plan to nominate it for peer review fairly soon.--Wehwalt (talk) 10:38, 30 August 2013 (UTC)


Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well written:
  1a. the prose is clear and concise, and the spelling and grammar are correct. See minor clarity suggestions above Spotchecks show no evidence of copyright issues.
  1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation.
2. Verifiable with no original research:
  2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline.
  2b. all in-line citations are from reliable sources, including those for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines.
  2c. it contains no original research.
3. Broad in its coverage:
  3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic. Comparison to and other sources suggests main aspects are covered.
  3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).
  4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without editorial bias, giving due weight to each.
  5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by media such as images, video, or audio:
  6a. media are tagged with their copyright statuses, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content. N/A
  6b. media are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions. N/A
  7. Overall assessment. Pass as GA
  • As a side note, I'd suggest adding a picture of Lewis F. Powell, Jr. to the USSC consideration section (I'm assuming no free pictures of Bakke are available), but this isn't necessary for GA. -- Khazar2 (talk) 01:07, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
  • A minor accuracy question--did Bakke spend his career at Mayo or did he do his residency there? This source suggests the latter, but you've read more sources about this than I have. -- Khazar2 (talk) 01:09, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
He did both. The source actually says that he was still there as of 1999 and he'd be about sixty then. That's a fair enough career. I'll work though these in the next day.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:58, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Got those now.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:36, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank both you guys for all the fresh energy. I think we have definitely made some improvements. Kind of my wish list from this point out might be the following:
I think our first paragraph should include in more layperson's terms, the Court found hard quotas unacceptable, but affirmative action with race as a plus factor okay. And I believe Justice Powell in his decision spoke favorably of the program at Harvard. And if we can find the quote, maybe the whole quote about properly tailored, etc.
And I think in our lead section we should state that the real world facts on the ground, that what initially kept Allan Bakke out of medical was his age. That not only did he have better qualifications than the average Task Force admittee, but he also had better qualifications than the average admittee in general. That the Age Discrimination Act of 1967 (?) barred discrimination against persons older than 40, but the 1975 Act was not going to come into play until . . '79 (?). To me, this is not going too far afield. To me, this is adding richness and context.
And I want to add the above part from O’Neill's book about the apparent abuse of power by the UC Davis chair of admissions. That the man was against Bakke, and quized him, and gave him just enough of a low interview score, because of his political views. FriendlyRiverOtter (talk) 01:39, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
I've done those things, FRO. I think the Powell quote might be too much detail for the lede paragraph, which should be the utter bare essentials.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:20, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Hi, I need to clean up something I said. From the very first section at the top of our Talk page, the actual phrase Justice Powell used may have been "properly devised." This is just for future reference and perhaps another part of our article. I agree the lead paragraph should be for the bare essentials. FriendlyRiverOtter (talk) 01:35, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

U.C.-Davis styleEdit

Is there some Wikipedia precedent for abbreviating the university as "U.C.-Davis"? This particular style is never used in any official university capacity, nor can I recall seeing it colloquially outside of this site. The proper styling as per the University style guide is "UC Davis".

  University of California, Davis. Set off “Davis” by two commas: the University of California, Davis, was chosen. “UC Davis” is used in second and subsequent references in news releases and in publications. Do not use “UCD.” Use no periods in UC. Never say the University of California at Davis.

PxT (talk) 18:58, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

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Does this have a place in the aftermath section?Edit

One of the people admitted to medical school instead of Bakke ended up having his medical license revoked. PapayaSF (talk) 18:44, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

Interesting, but probably not worth including.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:09, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
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