Bakke Decision - Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action - the Bakke case would have long-lasting repercussions.

June 28, 1978 – Allegations Of An Invasion – Running Afoul Of The Soviet Press – A Decision On Affirmative Action.

Bakke Decision - Affirmative Action
Affirmative Action – the Bakke case would have long-lasting repercussions.

June 28, 1978 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

June 28, 1978 – Busy news day and an unexpected one at that. First came news of the purported invasion of Cambodia by Vietnam, with reports saying as many as 60,000-80,000 Vietnamese troops had crossed the border and moved some 40 miles into Cambodia proper, adding a skirmish left a considerable number of Cambodian casualties. It was unclear if this was a full-on invasion or a lead-up or a one-off. In any event, tensions between Cambodia and Vietnam were at an all-time high and this latest incident didn’t appear to be ending any time soon.

In Moscow; arraignment in Soviet court of two American journalists accused on behalf of Soviet State Radio and Television on charges a of spreading untrue allegations regarding dissidents currently being held in Soviet jails. The trial began very quick and matter-of-fact, lasting only fifteen minutes and were told to provide written defenses to the court by Friday and to appear in court for a formal hearing on July 5. The Soviet Press was demanding both correspondents, Craig Whitney of the N.Y. Times and Hal Piper of The Baltimore Sun print retractions of the correspondents offending articles. It was the first time American correspondents were brought before the court for their writings on situations in the Soviet Union.

And while the broadcast was on, news had just come in that the Supreme Court had handed down a decision on much anticipated Bakke vs. University Of California case – the case which overturned Affirmative Action in schools. Allan P. Bakke, an engineer and former Marine officer, sought admission to medical school, but was rejected for admission due in part to his age. Bakke was in his early 30s while applying, and therefore considered too old by at least two institutions. After twice being rejected by the University of California, Davis, he brought suit in state court challenging the constitutionality of the school’s affirmative action program. The California Supreme Court struck down the program as violative of the rights of white applicants and ordered Bakke admitted. The U.S. Supreme Court accepted the case amid wide public attention.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Bakke was announced on June 28, 1978. The justices penned six opinions; none of them, in full, had the support of a majority of the court. In a plurality opinion,[a] Justice Powell delivered the judgment of the court. Four justices (Burger, Stewart, Rehnquist, and Stevens) joined with him to strike down the minority admissions program and admit Bakke. The other four justices (Brennan, White, Marshall, and Blackmun) dissented from that portion of the decision, but joined with Powell to find affirmative action permissible under some circumstances, though subject to an intermediate scrutiny standard of analysis. They also joined with Powell to reverse that portion of the judgment of the California Supreme Court that forbade the university to consider race in the admissions process.

And that’s just a small slice of what happened, this June 28, 1978 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.




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