California V. Bakke

By: Cheyenne Eckard


The California V. Bakke case began in the 1970's, when a white, 32 year-old named Allan Bakke applied to UC Davis Medical School. He was rejected twice.

Issues in the Case

  • The University of California Davis Medical School was one of the schools that adopted a system to diversify its student body. 16 of the 100 available slots were reserved for minority applicants. Allan Bakke was a white male.
  • Bakke had an impressive academic record, even better than the minority applicants who got accepted.
  • Bakke stated that the program violated the equal protection clause in the 14th amendment.
  • The medical school said that numerous factors contributed to Bakke's rejection.
  • Also, the medical school said that other candidates with higher scores had been rejected.
  • The main question was whether programs like U.C. Davis followed the 14th amendment.

Final Court Ruling & Opinions

On June 26, 1978, the Supreme court ruled that the university's use of strict racial quotas was unconstitutional. They ordered that the medical school admit Bakke. However, they ruled that race could be used as ONE criterion in the admissions decisions of institutions of higher educations.
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