The Burger Court (1969–86)

Court Decisions

What was the vote breakdown in the Bakke case?

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5–4 that the UC Davis medical school policy was unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause and that Allen Bakke should be admitted. The U.S. Supreme Court also ruled 5–4 that race is a factor that can be considered in university admission programs. Justice Lewis Powell was the key swing vote on both major issues. Justices William Brennan, Byron White, Thurgood Marshall, and Harry Blackmun voted against Bakke and believed that race should be a factor in university admissions. Chief Justice Warren Burger, John Paul Stevens, Potter Stewart, and William Rehnquist voted for Bakke and argued that the Court should not consider the larger issue of whether race should be considered in university admissions.


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