Bakke Wins, Quotas Lose

But the divided Supreme Court endorses affirmative action based on race

It had been heralded as the most important civil rights case since Brown vs. Board of Education, the 1954 ruling that outlawed racial segregation in the schools and ultimately in all of American life. The nation had moved far in 25 years, but the goal of equality had remained elusive, and the question now before the Supreme Court in the case of Regents of the University of California vs. Bakke seemed infinitely perplexing: Is it fair to give some preference to blacks over whites in...

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