Bright-Line Rules Versus Individualized Assessments: The Gratz and Grutter Threat to Equal Treatment in College Admissions

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Summer 2005

Project Description/Abstract

This project will critically analyze the legal rulings of the United States Supreme Court in Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bolllnger-two cases pertaining to affirmative action that were decided in 2003. Using traditional legal methods, the study will explore how the decisions fit into existing case law and constitutional doctrine in the area of affirmation action and equal protection. Different types of affirmative action policies that have been utilized by institutions of higher education will be analyzed, and particular attention will be given to how these approaches comply with recommendations from the field of public administration regarding the proper scope of bureaucratic discretion. Structured interviews with members of admissions committees at elite public institutions of higher education will demonstrate whether the Court’s decisions are being followed, and whether the decisions have improved the quality and integrity of the admissions policies.

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