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His rationale was not unlike that put forward by Justice Powell in the Bakke case, four years later.
Unbeknownst to many, the Bakke case was not the first decision on race-based admissions policies in higher learning institutions to reach the Supreme Court.
The Bakke case produced more amicus briefs than any Supreme Court case to date.
The Weber case ruling by the Supreme Court made some partial headway in resolving the problem, which Bakke case never completely kept to rest.
Victor Goode is a law professor at CUNY Law School and was director of the National Conference of Black Lawyers when they filed an amicus brief in the Bakke case.
In the 1978 Bakke case, a divided court ruled that schools can use race as a "plus" factor in making admissions decisions.
The Michigan case is considered the most important affirmative action litigation since the Bakke case 25 years ago.
Such an approach to affirmative action clashes with Justice Lewis Powell's much more nuanced decision in the pivotal 1978 Bakke case.
In the Bakke case, the liberals--Justice Brennan, Justice Marshall, Justice White and Justice Blackmun--argued that racial preferences were needed as a temporary program to compensate for a horrendous legacy of discrimination.
This is the difference between "strict scrutiny," favored by Powell and the conservatives in Bakke, and mere "heightened scrutiny," favored by the liberals in the Bakke case.
Modern liberals celebrate the statement of Justice Harry Blackmun, in the infamous Bakke case on college admissions, that "in order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race" - even though it is self-evidently moronic.