Petitioners Gratz and Hamacher, both of whom are Michigan residents and Caucasian, applied for admission to the University College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) in 1995 and 1997, respectively. Although the LSA considered Gratz to be well qualified and Hamacher to be within the qualified range, both were denied early admission and were ultimately denied admission. [The] University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions (OUA) . . . considers a number of factors in making admissions decisions, including high school grades, standardized test scores, high school quality, curriculum strength, geography, alumni relation- ships, leadership, and race. During all relevant periods, the University has considered African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans to be “un- derrepresented minorities,” and it is undisputed that the University admits virtually every qualified applicant from these groups. The current guide- lines use a selection method under which every applicant from an underrep- resented racial or ethnic minority group is automatically awarded 20 points of the 100 needed to guarantee admission. . . .
We granted certiorari in this case to decide whether “the University of Michigan’s use of racial preferences in undergraduate admissions violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 . . ., or 42 U.S.C. § 1981. . . .” Because we find that the manner in which the University considers the race of applicants in its under- graduate admissions guidelines violates these constitutional and statutory provisions, we reverse that portion of the District Court’s decision uphold- ing the guidelines. . . .
It is by now well established that “all racial classifications reviewable under the Equal Protection Clause must be strictly scrutinized.” . . . To with- stand our strict scrutiny analysis, respondents must demonstrate that the University’s use of race in its current admission program employs “narrowly tailored measures that further compelling governmental inter- ests.” . . . We find that the University’s policy, which automatically distrib- utes 20 points, or one-fifth of the points needed to guarantee admission, to every single “underrepresented minority” applicant solely because of race, is not narrowly tailored to achieve the interest in educational diversity that respondents claim justifies their program.
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