Fight Racism Overturn Bakke

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In the Bakke decision of 1978 the United States Supreme Court ruled that while racial quotas were not constitutional, consideration of an applicant’s race was constitutionally allowed on college applications.

Allan Bakke brought his case against the University of California Davis because he was denied admission to their medical school due to what he called “reverse discrimination.” At the time, UC Davis had a policy of reserving 16% of their admissions for minority students. The court ruled that while race could be a consideration on a college application, it was unconstitutional to set an exact number of slots. With the ruling, precedence was set to uphold affirmative action in future cases.


Bakke decision. (n.d.). Britannica. Retrieved from

When the Supreme Court first ruled on affirmative action. (n.d.). National Constitution Center. Retrieved from

Catalog ID CA0925