Culture War & the Supreme Court

By: Jasmyne Hall

Gratz v. Bollinger

The University of Michigan has a point system in which minorities are given points due to preference. The Point system sparked controversy among the college students. The supreme court ruled that the use of affirmative action in school admission is constitutional. Also that if it treats race as one factor among many its purpose is to achieve a "diverse" class, and it does not substitute for an individual review of student. Although it is unconstitutional if it automatically increases someone who is applying's chances over others just because of his or her race. Jennifer Gratz and Patrick Hammacher, who were white kids that lived in Michigan, were declined when applying to the school. They then sued the school in a federal court, saying that its admissions process was unconstitutional. The federal court agreed, and the case was appealed up to the Supreme Court, which reviewed the case in 2003.

Reed v. Reed

This case was an equal protection case in the United States which the supreme court ruled that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment did not allow unfair treatment based on sex. It was considered unconstitutional to judge a person based on their gender. You have to have some kind of probable cause.

University of California v. Bakke

U.S. Supreme court, 1978. A white applicant to the University of California, Davis Medical School, sued the University, saying that he was denied admission due to racial issues and was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Bakke's qualifications were better than the other minority students who applied in the 2 years that his applications were rejected. This led to the university being able to adopt an admissions program where race or ethnic background is simply one element.

Adarand Constructers v. Pena

1989- Adarand Constructors submitted the lowest bid to another contractor called Mountain Gravel on a job for a government highway project. The contractor awarded the job to Gonzales Construction, which was a small business controlled by a “socially and economically disadvantaged” person, in order to take advantage of financial incentives offered by the Department of Transportation.

Two likely Vacancies

1. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

2. Stephen Breyer

After Their Retirement

Ginsburg, 81, and Breyer, 75, are two of the leading liberal voices on the court, and also the oldest. Democrats would find it difficult to replace the progressive judges with other worthy and successful people if Republicans control the Senate. However If Ginsburg and Breyer remain on the court through Obama’s term, they have the risk of being replaced by more conservative justices in 2016 if Republicans win back the White House.

The Culture War

My understanding of the Culture War is that conservatives are bias and it affects our government. Also that its about many people standing up for personal rights that they believe should be more fair. So throughout the culture war different types of people are fighting for different types of rights in different court cases making it to where we all come to a conclusion and straighten out how our government works and runs things. So it's a bunch of different conflicts between groups with different ideas about how things should work.