Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Charles J. Russo & Ralph D. Mawdsley
Affirmative action as a means of redressing past, ongoing, and/or lingering inequities due to race and other factors entered the American legal and educational national lexicon in 1978's Regents of University of California v. Bakke (Bakke) , a dispute over the constitutionality of a medical school's race-based admissions policy. Affirmative action stands for the notion that courts and other institutions may take race (and other characteristics such as gender and ethnicity) into consideration as affirmative factors in making decisions with regard to admissions and hiring in education as well as other arenas. In Bakke , a divided Supreme Court reviewed a challenge to a medical school program filed by a White applicant who was denied admission under an affirmative action program that set aside 16 seats out of 100 openings for specified minority groups. In a plurality, meaning that the Justices failed to reach the requisite five-member majority necessary to ...