The Burger Court (1969–86)

Court Decisions

Did the Court rule that an educational institution could not consider race in its admissions policy?

No, the U.S. Supreme Court also ruled 5–4 that a university has a compelling interest in achieving a diverse class and that race can be an important factor in reaching that goal. Justice Lewis Powell wrote that diversity “clearly is a constitutionally permissible goal for an institution of higher learning.” He explained that a university constitutionally can institute an admissions policy where “race or ethnic background is simply one element in the selection process.”


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