AS10 Week 14 - What did the Supreme Court decide in the...

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What did the Supreme Court decide in the DeFunis and Bakke cases? How did these cases reveal "ambivalence about affirmative action in higher education," even among its supporters and, more generally, the "conflict between testing and black progress" (211)? The Supreme Court decided in DeFunis v. Odegaard to declare the case moot, on the grounds that DeFunis was about to graduate law school anyways. However, declaring this case moot was only stalling tool used by the courts in order to prevent making a large decision about the case. The case created a battle pitting the idea of a legal meritocracy against one of racial equality. The judges were torn between the two, considering that the "idea of a legal meritocracy - law school as a completely open contest in which academically outstanding students could put themselves on the road to great success - animated the story of each of their [the Justices] lives," (Lemann 204), and the fact that for "nearly twenty years he Court had handed down a string of thunderous unanimous
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This note was uploaded on 03/18/2011 for the course AMST 10 taught by Professor Saul during the Fall '08 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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