University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Gratz v. Bollinger SD-MI-0003
Docket / Court 2:97-cv-75231 ( E.D. Mich. )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Education
School Desegregation
Case Summary
On Oct. 14, 1997, two applicants who had been denied admission to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor brought this class action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the university. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest counsel, ... read more >
On Oct. 14, 1997, two applicants who had been denied admission to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor brought this class action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the university. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest counsel, claimed that the university's admissions policy treated race as a predominant factor in granting admission, and that they, as white applicants, had been discriminated against in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

On Dec. 23, 1998, the court (Judge Patrick J. Duggan) certified the class comprising "[t]hose individuals who applied for and were not granted admission to the College of Literature, Science & the Arts of the University of Michigan for all academic years from 1995 forward and who are members of those racial or ethnic groups, including Caucasian, that defendants treat less favorably on the basis of race in considering their application for admission."

On Dec. 13, 2000, Judge Duggan granted plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment with respect to the university's admissions policy during the years 1995-1998---during which time a specific number of admissions were reserved for minority applicants---and declared those policies unconstitutional. But the court also granted defendants' motion for summary judgment with regard to the admissions programs for the years 1999-2000---during which time applicants were graded on a 150-point scale, and underrepresented minorities automatically received 20 points based on their membership to one of the identified minority categories.

Judge Duggan determined that "the educational benefits flowing from a racially and ethnically diverse student body are a sufficiently compelling interest to survive strict scrutiny," and the point system in place at the time of the decision was narrowly tailored to achieve that purpose, though the policies in place from '95-'98 were not. The court denied the plaintiffs' request for injunctive relief, and granted defendants' motion for summary judgment on grounds of qualified immunity.

The Dec. 13, 2000, Order and Opinion limited itself to the question of whether the university's admissions policies passed constitutional muster as narrowly tailored means of achieving diversity. In a Feb. 26, 2001 opinion, Judge Duggan ruled on whether the policies passed constitutional muster as a narrowly tailored means of remedying past and current discrimination by the university. 135 F. Supp. 2d 790. The court determined that the school's policies could not be justified as measures to remedy either the current effects of past discrimination, or the discriminatory impact of the university's other admissions criteria, and so denied the defendant's motion for summary judgment .

Both parties appealed the court's decision, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit heard the case en banc on the same day as Grutter v. Bollinger (see SD-MI-0002 in the Clearinghouse). The 6th Circuit later issued an opinion in Grutter which upheld the University of Michigan Law School's admissions policy. The petitioner in that case also sought a writ of certiorari for this case, even though the Court of Appeals had not yet rendered a judgment in it, so that the Supreme Court could address the broader context of race in university admissions policies at one time. The Court granted certiorari.

On June 23, 2003, the Court (majority opinion written by Chief Justice William Rehnquist) held that the university's point system is not narrowly tailored to achieve the school's asserted interest in diversity. 539 U.S. 244. The policy violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The school's policy failed to provide for the individualized consideration of each applicant that Bakke required. Moreover, the fact that 20 points automatically accrued to underrepresented minorities turned race into a decisive factor in the admissions process.

On remand, the parties settled all remaining claims, and on Jan. 31, 2007, Judge Duggan dismissed the case with prejudice.

Andrew Junker - 11/13/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Defendant-type
College/University
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Education
School/University policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
White
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) University of Michigan
Plaintiff Description Applicants to University of Michigan who had been denied admission
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2007
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing SD-MI-0002 : Grutter v. Bollinger (E.D. Mich.)
Docket(s)
2:97−cv−75231 (E.D. Mich.) 01/31/2007
SD-MI-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 10/14/1997
SD-MI-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 07/07/1998 (183 F.R.D. 209) (E.D. Mich.)
SD-MI-0003-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion and Order Denying Proposed Intervenors' Motion for Reconsideration 10/27/1998 (E.D. Mich.)
SD-MI-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 12/23/1998 (E.D. Mich.)
SD-MI-0003-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 08/10/1999 (188 F.3d 394)
SD-MI-0003-0012.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion and Order Denying Defendants' Motion of Relief from Order 05/02/2000 (E.D. Mich.)
SD-MI-0003-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 12/13/2000 (122 F.Supp.2d 811) (E.D. Mich.)
SD-MI-0003-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 02/26/2001 (135 F.Supp.2d 790) (E.D. Mich.)
SD-MI-0003-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order 10/19/2001 (277 F.3d 803)
SD-MI-0003-0013.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order 11/16/2001 (309 F.3d 329)
SD-MI-0003-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Re: Ebony Patterson, et al. v Lee Bollinger, et al. 12/02/2002 (123 S.Ct. 632)
SD-MI-0003-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Supreme Court dec'n rev'g 6th Cir. 06/23/2003 (539 U.S. 244)
SD-MI-0003-0016.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 10/29/2003 (80 Fed.Appx. 417)
SD-MI-0003-0015.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order 01/27/2005 (353 F.Supp.2d 929) (E.D. Mich.)
SD-MI-0003-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 08/05/2005 (E.D. Mich.)
SD-MI-0003-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Approving Settlement and Notice Plan, Decertifying Class, and Dismissing Case 01/31/2007 (E.D. Mich.)
SD-MI-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Batchelder, Alice Moore (Sixth Circuit, N.D. Ohio)
SD-MI-0003-0013 | SD-MI-0003-0014 | SD-MI-0003-0015
Boggs, Danny Julian (Sixth Circuit)
SD-MI-0003-0013 | SD-MI-0003-0014 | SD-MI-0003-0015
Breyer, Stephen Gerald (First Circuit, SCOTUS)
SD-MI-0003-0016
Carlson, Thomas (E.D. Mich.) [Magistrate]
SD-MI-0003-0001
Clay, Eric L. (Sixth Circuit)
SD-MI-0003-0013 | SD-MI-0003-0014 | SD-MI-0003-0015
Cole, Ransey Guy Jr. (Sixth Circuit)
SD-MI-0003-0013 | SD-MI-0003-0014 | SD-MI-0003-0015
Daughtrey, Martha Craig (Sixth Circuit)
SD-MI-0003-0012 | SD-MI-0003-0013 | SD-MI-0003-0014 | SD-MI-0003-0015
Duggan, Patrick J. (E.D. Mich.)
SD-MI-0003-0001 | SD-MI-0003-0003 | SD-MI-0003-0004 | SD-MI-0003-0005 | SD-MI-0003-0006 | SD-MI-0003-0008 | SD-MI-0003-0009 | SD-MI-0003-0010 | SD-MI-0003-0011 | SD-MI-0003-9000
Gilman, Ronald Lee (Sixth Circuit)
SD-MI-0003-0013 | SD-MI-0003-0014 | SD-MI-0003-0015
Ginsburg, Ruth Bader (D.C. Circuit, SCOTUS)
SD-MI-0003-0016
Kennedy, Anthony McLeod (Ninth Circuit, SCOTUS)
SD-MI-0003-0016
Martin, Boyce Ficklen Jr. (Sixth Circuit)
SD-MI-0003-0013 | SD-MI-0003-0014 | SD-MI-0003-0015
Moore, Karen Nelson (Sixth Circuit)
SD-MI-0003-0012 | SD-MI-0003-0013 | SD-MI-0003-0014 | SD-MI-0003-0015
O'Connor, Sandra Day (SCOTUS)
SD-MI-0003-0016
Rehnquist, William Hubbs (SCOTUS)
SD-MI-0003-0016
Scalia, Antonin (D.C. Circuit, SCOTUS)
SD-MI-0003-0016
Siler, Eugene Edward Jr. (W.D. Ky., Sixth Circuit, E.D. Ky.)
SD-MI-0003-0013 | SD-MI-0003-0014 | SD-MI-0003-0015
Souter, David Hackett (First Circuit, SCOTUS)
SD-MI-0003-0016
Stevens, John Paul (Seventh Circuit, SCOTUS)
SD-MI-0003-0016
Thomas, Clarence (D.C. Circuit, SCOTUS)
SD-MI-0003-0016
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bader, Hans F. (District of Columbia)
SD-MI-0003-0002
Fett, James K. (Michigan)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Herr, David F. (Minnesota)
SD-MI-0003-0001 | SD-MI-0003-0002 | SD-MI-0003-9000
Kolbo, Kirk O. (Minnesota)
SD-MI-0003-0001 | SD-MI-0003-0002 | SD-MI-0003-9000
Lenhoff, Glen L. (Michigan)
SD-MI-0003-9000
McDonald, Michael P. (District of Columbia)
SD-MI-0003-0002
Morgan, Kerry L. (Michigan)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Rosman, Michael E. (District of Columbia)
SD-MI-0003-0002
Wright, Patrick J. (Michigan)
SD-MI-0003-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Henry, Milton R. (Michigan)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Johnson, Olatunde C.A. (New York)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Kessler, Philip J. (Michigan)
SD-MI-0003-0001 | SD-MI-0003-9000
Niehoff, Leonard M. (Michigan)
SD-MI-0003-0001 | SD-MI-0003-9000
Payton, John A. (District of Columbia)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Pickering, John H. (District of Columbia)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Shaw, Theodore M. (New York)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Sherburne, Jane (District of Columbia)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Taylor, Christopher M. (Michigan)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Turner, Reginald M. Jr. (Michigan)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Other Lawyers Botsford, Jon D. (Michigan)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Clagett, Brice M. (District of Columbia)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Dillard, Godfrey J. (Michigan)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Garibaldi, Oscar M. (District of Columbia)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Geller, Kenneth S. (District of Columbia)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Hamilton, Dwight K. (Michigan)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Leffler, Susan I. (Michigan)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Maynard, Deanne (District of Columbia)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Mehrberg, Randall E. (Illinois)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Noreika, Keith A (District of Columbia)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Parker, H. Wallace (Michigan)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Satoskar, Shilpa S. (District of Columbia)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Silver, Jeffrey S. (Illinois)
SD-MI-0003-9000
Wilhelm, Richard A. (Michigan)
SD-MI-0003-9000

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