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University of Georgia (UGA):   Reverse Discrimination and Quotas in Education at the University of Georgia were struck down on July 24, 2000!

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Use of Race in Admissions at U. of Georgia Is Struck Down by Federal Judge (07/26/00 - pay site)

          [The Chronicle of Higher Education]   "A federal judge ruled Monday [July 24, 2000] that the University of Georgia has unconstitutionally engaged in "naked racial balancing" by using race as a factor in some admissions decisions without having an adequate justification."

          "In a strongly worded opinion, U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield ruled that the University of Georgia's stated goal of promoting diversity through its admissions policy was an "amorphous, unquantifiable, and temporarily unlimited goal." And as such, the judge ruled, it does not represent a compelling state interest for which the university could constitutionally defend its use of racial preferences."

UGA Story Index:

          "Opponents of affirmative action hailed the decision as "one more nail in the coffin" for the use of racial preferences in admissions decisions."

          The Chronicle also noted that those who defend the use of race in college admissions think that it is a necessary and valid approach to "enhancing campuses’ academic vitality".

          If UGA appeals Judge Edenfield’s ruling, and if they lose the lose the appeal -- i.e, if Edenfield's ruling is upheld on appeal -- then a precedent against race and gender based admissions policies will be established throughout the judicial circuit, including the states of Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

          "The lawsuit was brought by three white women who were denied admission to the university in 1999 and argued that they would have been admitted if they had been men or from a minority group."

          "Judge Edenfield ordered the University of Georgia to offer all three plaintiffs admission to the institution for the fall of 2000 and to pay the difference between their college expenses from last year and what they would have paid at Georgia."

          Harlan S. Miller, a lawyer with the Atlanta firm that represented the plaintiffs, "argued that the opinion was especially significant because Judge Edenfield struck down the argument that assembling a diverse student body was a compelling state interest worthy of protecting with racial preferences. Many other courts, ruling in similar cases, have failed to directly rule on that question, Mr. Miller said.  The decision could sway future decisions across the 11th Circuit and throughout the country, he added."

          A lawyer who advises higher education clients on racial quotas said "Although [Edenfield’s decision is] disappointing, it is not surprising to see other judges joining the chorus of those who believe diversity to be not compelling" as a reason for using race in admissions decisions."

(Based on the Chronicle of Education article 07/26/00 by Sara Hebel)
[link to PAY site: http://www.chronicle.com/daily/2000/07/2000072601n.htm ]


Judge Rules UGA Race Preferences Unconstitutional (Mon., 07/24/00)

          "U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield ... an appointee of former President Jimmy Carter, minced few words on how he felt about the policy.  And his ruling becomes the second in the nation to question the significance of a landmark 1978 U.S. Supreme Court decision on the use of racial preferences in university admissions.

          "The problem, of course, is that in UGA's world some are 'more equal' than others," Edenfield wrote. "UGA's claim that it can simultaneously ensure equality of both opportunity and result, particularly by means of an admissions process that awards bonus points to some races but not others, simply defies logic."

          "Edenfield ruled in favor of three white women -- Jennifer Johnson, Aimee Bogrow and Molly Ann Beckenhauer -- who filed suit after being denied admission to UGA in 1999. Edenfield ordered UGA to pay damages to the women and offer them admission. Fall semester begins Aug. 17.

          "After Johnson filed suit, UGA granted her admission. But the Jonesboro High School graduate had already committed to attend Mercer University. Saying Johnson is entitled to recover expenses she paid Mercer in excess of what she would have paid UGA for the 1999 Fall semester, Edenfield ordered UGA to pay her $2,060.

          "Beckenhauer, who graduated from Lakeside High School in Martinez and attends Clemson University, is entitled to $7,184 in damages.

          "Bogrow, who graduated from North Springs High School in North Fulton, attends the less-costly Georgia Perimeter College. Edenfield awarded her a nominal amount of $1.

          "Bogrow's father, Bernie, said Tuesday that his daughter was on vacation and unavailable for comment. As to whether she will now attend UGA, he said, "I am not sure. That's her call, her decision. I do know this is a late date ... If [the ruling] came a month ago, it would be a different story."

          "Edenfield's ruling resolved only one of several lawsuits pending before him attacking UGA's admissions program. Plaintiffs' lawyers predict they will prevail in the other cases as well, while advocates of the progam say they hope Edenfield's ruling will be overturned on appeal. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 07/26/00 by Bill Rankin and Rebecca McCarthy)
[link http://www.accessatlanta.com/partners/ajc/newsatlanta/uga/072600a.html ]


UGA likely to appeal race ruling (07/27/00)

A Federal judge had ruled this week that university discriminated against white women based on racial preferences.

ATHENS -- "The University of Georgia will likely appeal a judge's ruling declaring the university's race-conscious entrance program unconstitutional and condemning "naked racial balancing" in UGA admissions, a spokesman said Tuesday.

          "In a forceful, 17-page decision, released Tuesday by the state attorney general, U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield summarily rejected UGA's argument that promoting diversity for its own sake in admissions is a compelling state interest.

          "The university has admitted about 90 percent of its students strictly on academic performance.  The rest were accepted on a combination of up to 12 characteristics, including race and gender. Preferences are no longer given to male applicants. But in September, Adams said the school would continue to use race-based bonus points in an effort to remain representative of the total state population.

          "The judge's order singles out that goal and the school's diversity rationale for criticism.  "UGA merely presumes, stereotypically, that all members of a minority race will think, act, etc., differently from whites and thus 'contribute' to the student body's 'overall educational experience,' " he wrote.  "However, this procrustean presumption is prohibited," he added, choosing a word that means forcing conformity by ruthless or arbitrary means.

          "Edenfield's ruling orders the admission of three plaintiffs -- Jennifer Johnson, Aimee Bogrow and Molly Ann Beckenhauer -- who sued UGA for reverse discrimination after their applications were rejected during a phase of 1999 admissions that considered race and gender. The judge also required that they be reimbursed for some of the expenses paid to other schools during the last school year.

          "A lawyer for the plaintiffs, Atlanta attorney Harlan Miller, called the decision a "big win" and applauded the judge for tackling the question of diversity goals, a topic he said other court rulings on affirmative action have avoided.

          "UGA erred, the judge said, in assuming that the "formless and malleable" goal of diversity is reason enough to use racial preferences in choosing a student body.

          "On May 23, Atlanta attorney Lee Parks, a partner of Miller's, filed two more reverse discrimination lawsuits, one attacking admissions at the university's School of Law, the other identifying 14 plaintiffs complaining of race discrimination in UGA admissions and scholarship programs. Parks is in Ireland this week and was unavailable for comment."  (Savannah Morning News 07/27/00 by Joan Stroer of the Morris News Service)
[link http://www.savannahmorningnews.com/smn/stories/072700/LOCugaadmission.shtml ]


UGA's racial admissions policy rejected (07/25/00)

          "The University of Georgia's race-conscious admissions program is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Monday. In a strongly worded opinion, U.S. District Judge Avant Edenfield of Savannah rejected UGA's arguments that the promotion of diversity in higher education is a compelling state interest.  "To base racial preferences upon an amorphous, unquantifiable and temporarily unlimited goal is to engage in naked racial balancing," Edenfield wrote.

          "The judge ruled in favor of three white women denied admission to UGA in Athens in 1999. He also ordered the university to offer the women admission and to compensate them for having to pay more money to attend other schools.

          "UGA President Michael Adams said, "We respect the court and we want UGA admissions to comply with federal law," he said. "We also want to be as aggressive as possible within the law in attracting people of all races and backgrounds."

          "The three white female plaintiffs Jennifer Johnson, Aimee Bogrow and Molly Ann Beckenhauer -- would have been considered for admission had they been minority male applicants, Edenfield noted. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 07/25/00 by Bill Rankin)
[link http://www.accessatlanta.com/partners/ajc/newsatlanta/uga/072600c.html ]


UGA admissions lawsuit revived (04/19/00)

Appeals court orders judge to reconsider ruling that plaintiffs lacked standing.  "The federal appeals court in Atlanta has revived a lawsuit that accuses the state of using discriminatory admissions policies at the University of Georgia and relegating its historically black colleges to a mission of remedial education.

          "In a unanimous decision, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a federal judge in Savannah must reconsider his decisions that dismissed the 11 white and black plaintiffs on the basis that they lacked standing to file their federal lawsuit.

          "In November, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that cases attacking race-based admissions policies can go forward even if race did not play a role in the rejection of a plaintiff's college application. U.S. District Judge Avant Edenfield now needs to consider that reasoning, the 11th Circuit said.

          "Atlanta lawyer Lee Parks, who represents the plaintiffs, predicted Edenfield will reinstate the plaintiffs and find that the university system operates unconstitutional policies.

          "The lawsuit, filed in March 1997, demanded the regents upgrade the state's historically black colleges -- Albany State, Fort Valley State and Savannah State -- and work out a way to attract more white students to them. It also called for an end to policies used by the University of Georgia that use race as a factor in admissions.

          "Edenfield has made it clear how he feels about UGA's policies, saying any racial preference in admissions "stigmatizes" minority students. After reviewing the evidence before him, the judge decided last summer that "UGA cannot constitutionally justify the affirmative use of race in its admissions decisions."

          "In the past, UGA has admitted about 90 percent of its students strictly on academic performance. The rest were accepted on a combination of any of 12 characteristics, including race. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 04/19/00 by Bill Rankin)
[link http://www.accessatlanta.com/partners/ajc/newsatlanta/uga/ugaadmissions.html ]

Georgia (University of Georgia):  School Defies Courts, Re-affirms Support for Quotas (10/01/99)
          "Calling 'the twin goals of academic excellence and a diverse student population . . . absolutely compatible,' University of Georgia President Michael Adams said Thursday that race should remain a factor in evaluating some high school seniors applying for admission to UGA.

          "The announcement brought ... a dire prediction from the state attorney general and a threat from the lawyer who challenged the standards that he would seek an injunction to halt the policy.

          "Although the [racial quota] policy will have to be ratified by the Faculty Admissions Committee and the University Council, [University President] Adams, who has the final say, effectively has committed the university to a costly, perhaps protracted, legal battle. Some legal experts--including Attorney General Thurbert Baker--predict the university has little chance of winning that fight.

          "U.S. District Court Judge B. Avant Edenfield chastised UGA in July [1999] for using race as a factor in admissions, saying the university couldn't constitutionally justify its use.

          "Upon learning of [University President] Adams' decision on Thursday, Atlanta attorney Lee Parks said in a letter to the attorney general's office that the policy won't hold up in court. Parks said he has 16 white females, all of whom were rejected by UGA, who want to join a suit he filed in August against the admissions policies.

          "The controversy over affirmative action and race-based policies--including the lawsuits against UGA and threats against the city of Atlanta's affirmative action programs--is likely to reignite debate in the Legislature over such issues, [according to Georgia House Majority Leader Larry Walker (D-Perry)]."  (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 10/01/99 by Rebecca McCarthy)
[link http://www.accessatlanta.com/news/1999/10/01/uga2.html ]

Related / Similar:

U. of Georgia vows to keep race in admissions policy (10/01/99 - dead link)
          ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — "The University of Georgia will continue to give some students an edge in admissions because of their race — a policy the state attorney general said will be hard to defend in court. "We believe that using race as a factor in admissions, but not as a sole determining factor, is a legitimate approach in Georgia,'' school President Michael Adams said Thursday.

          "The decision means the university will fight two pending lawsuits that contend the policy discriminates against whites. Attorney General Thurbert Baker, whose office will defend the university in court, said its prospects of winning aren't promising because courts have grown more hostile to racial preferences. "While its chances of prevailing are slim, the university is entitled to have its attorneys present its case in court,'' Baker said in a statement. .... Atlanta attorney Lee Parks, who has filed three lawsuits claiming the school's admissions policy discriminates against whites, said he will keep the issue alive in the courts. "You've got a very politically heated situation and I think people in those situations would rather the courts tell them to stop doing something rather than for them to decide not to fight the fight,'' Parks said. .... Adams also said the university is still not doing enough to recruit black students. "There are still too many qualified Georgia minorities choosing to attend public and private out-of-state schools that they perceive to be more prestigious,'' he said."  (Associated Press, via Fox News, 10/01/99 by Russ Bynum, AP)
[former link **http://www.foxnews.com/js_index.sml?content=/news/wires2/1001/n_ap_1001_71.sml]

Racial preferences seldom win in court (10/01/99)
          "University of Georgia President Michael Adams plunged UGA more deeply into the unfriendly waters of the federal court system with his decision Thursday to continue using race in the school's admissions policies. Over the past decade, the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently struck down racial preference programs involving government contracting and hiring. And the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in an influential ruling in 1996, rejected racial preferences in admissions at the University of Texas. ... Victor Bolden of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund said he believes UGA's admissions program would survive a Bakke legal test. "I think this is certainly a program that is fully consistent with the law out there today," he said.

          "This is an affirmative action program which is carefully crafted and specifically drawn to provide opportunities to have a diverse campus." UGA's admissions program is not a quota, Bolden maintained. "It ensures that the school obtains highly qualified students of all races," he said. "And given the history of this institution and given the significance of having an African-American presence at this institution, the admissions program is warranted."

          ".... Curt Levey, director of legal and public affairs for the Washington-based Center for Individual Rights, noted that the philosophical composition of the Supreme Court has changed greatly since the Bakke decision. "I think a decision like Bakke is the best the liberals can hope for," he said. "And I don't even think they would get that."

          ".... U.S. District Judge Avant Edenfield, who is presiding over the case, already has strongly criticized UGA's racial preference policy. Any appeals of Edenfield's eventual ruling would go to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta and, possibly, to the U.S. Supreme Court. "I have been to both of those places," said Parks, who has successfully argued reverse discimination voting rights cases before both courts. "These courts are not sympathetic to this issue. They call it racial balancing, that's their buzzword. And if UGA's plan can be reduced to a racial balancing approach, and I believe it can, then it's out.""  (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 10/01/99 by Bill Rankin)
[link http://www.accessatlanta.com/news/1999/10/01/seldom.html ]

Georgia (University of Georgia):  Pro-quota group rips plan to end race points (09/13/99)
          "If the University of Georgia abolishes racial preferences in admissions, the school could revert to the days when most black students came mainly to play for the school's revenue sports, black leaders meeting in Athens said this weekend.

          "The Northeast Georgia Black Leadership Council met in emergency session and vowed to oppose the end of [racial admissions quotas] for University of Georgia applicants, especially if lower entrance standards for athletes remain on the books.  ``We can't stand back and let the predominantly white institutions get the best of both worlds,'' said Dexter Wimbish, the council's executive director. ``They're going to be able to exclude our brightest [black] kids, but at the same time recruit our best [black] athletes.''  [Duh!  Imagine a University admitting students based on academic standing and test scores regardless of race.  Hmm.  What a concept!]

          "Whether the school will drop race as an entrance factor is subject to an ongoing review since a federal judge ruled in July that the state's flagship university wrongly awards bonus points to minority applicants.

          "University President Michael Adams said last month that advisers have told him he's on sound legal ground with [discriminatory race-based] admissions, which allows talented students -- including athletes [and certain races] -- to enter below prevailing university entrance standards."  (The Augusta Chronicle 09/13/99 by Joan Stroer)
[link http://augustachronicle.com/stories/091499/met_MNS-1789.000.shtml ]

Georgia (University of Georgia):  Race doomed as factor at UGA?  (08/20/99)
          ATHENS - "Now that the University of Georgia has agreed to drop gender as a factor in admissions, dropping race as a factor is inevitable, the lawyer who has battled the university over its admissions policy said yesterday.

          "President Michael Adams announced Wednesday that the state's flagship school would no longer give males a slight advantage in admissions over females, who make up 60 percent of this year's freshman class and 55 percent of the student body. Blacks, who make up 6 percent of the student body but 28 percent of the state population, also get a slight advantage.

          "A woman has sued the university, saying her application was rejected because she's white and female.

          "The suit, filed Aug. 10 by Atlanta attorney Lee Parks, was the third attempt to end the use of race in admissions decisions and Parks' first explicit challenge to the school's gender preference.

          "Parks said yesterday it was ''past time'' that the university removed the gender preference. ''It took a lawsuit to make them do it, but now that they have done it they are to be congratulated for doing the right thing,'' he said.  (The Florida Times-Union, based on newswires, 08/20/99)
[link http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/082099/met_1a1UGAAd.html ]

Georgia (University of Georgia):  Suit says gender, race thwarted woman's admission (08/13/99)
          "Should race and gender be eliminated as factors for admission?  If Jennifer L. Johnson were a black male, she would be a Bulldog by now.  At least that is the contention of Johnson's attorney, Lee Parks, who filed a suit on her behalf, claiming that the University of Georgia's admissions policies discriminated against Johnson because she is white and a woman. "She was clearly denied admission because of her sex and race," said Parks, an Atlanta-based attorney. Parks filed the suit Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Savannah.

          "U.S. District Court Judge John F. Nangle will hear the case. ... Johnson's suit is Parks' second attempt to change UGA's admissions policies.  In July, U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield of Savannah dismissed Parks' 1997 affirmative action lawsuit against the Board of Regents on a technicality that the student applicant lacked standing to bring his claims.  But in his ruling, Edenfield condemned UGA's admissions policies that allowed for racial preferences in admissions. "UGA cannot constitutionally justify the affirmative use of race in its admissions decisions," Edenfield said at the time. ... "Like it or not, this institution is out front on a matter on intense national debate," said UGA spokesman Tom Jackson, adding that the university had not seen a copy of the suit and could not respond specifically. "After the last ruling, it would be expected there would be another step. This administration has been working with the appropriate state officials to determine a course of action and will continue to do that as we respond."  (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 08/13/99 by Ernie Suggs)
[link http://www.accessatlanta.com/news/1999/08/13/parks.html ]

Related Stories - Newest First:

UGA reviews racial policies (07/13/99)
          "The University of Georgia is reviewing its admissions policies after a federal judge ruled they stigmatize minority students and amount to reverse discrimination, UGA President Michael F. Adams said Monday [07/12/99].

          "U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield of Savannah dismissed a contentious affirmative action lawsuit against the Board of Regents on a technicality that the student applicant lacked standing to bring his claims.  But the Regents' legal victory was accompanied by the federal judge's stinging condemnation of UGA's policies that allow racial preference in admissions. Citing "jaw-dropping" revelations that UGA's admissions policies benefit only a handful of minority students, Edenfield said: "The court would be remiss if it didn't briefly note what the record evidence now compels: UGA cannot constitutionally justify the affirmative use of race in its admissions decisions." ...

          "In response to court decisions nationwide striking down one affirmative action program after another, UGA in 1995 abandoned its dual-track program.  UGA now allows race to be one of several factors that help applicants who fall below minimum grades and test scores required for automatic admission. 

          "But UGA's current policy is more of the same, Edenfield wrote.  'In other words, it's still the same ship; UGA has simply rearranged the deck chairs,' the judge said. ... [Judge] Edenfield said UGA's desire for diversity was ill-defined and hard to justify. 'State officials promote exactly what society does not need nor tolerate:  racial stereotyping, where government officials simply assume that blacks, for example, think one way, and whites another,' Edenfield wrote. ". . . UGA officials evidently employed racial preferences first and asked questions later.'" (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 07/13/99 by Bill Rankin and Rebecca McCarthy)
[link http://www.accessatlanta.com/news/1999/07/13/uga.html ]

Judge pans Georgia admissions policy for 'racial bonus points' (07/13/99 - dead link)
          "The University of Georgia wrongly awards "racial bonus points" to minority applicants, but didn't discriminate against a white student whose application was rejected in 1997, a judge has ruled. U.S. District Court Judge B. Avant Edenfield said Craig Green would not have been admitted regardless of race, due to his academic record. But Edenfield also said the university "cannot constitutionally justify the affirmative use of race in its admission decisions." "The record shows, quite simply, that ... UGA prefers one applicant over another based solely on race," Edenfield wrote in his July 6 ruling. "UGA officials evidently employed racial preferences first and asked questions later." Green's lawsuit contended the University System of Georgia uses racial quotas to illegally segregate public colleges." (CNN 07/13/99)
[former link *http://cnn.com/US/9907/13/Colleges-Race.ap/index.html ]

University's Race-Based Standards Declared Unconstitutional
          "A federal judge in Savannah has ruled that the University of Georgia's now-discarded practice of setting lower standards for blacks in admissions was unconstitutional.  But U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield stopped short of declaring it a basis for a class action lawsuit, which would have enabled students affected by the policy in 1995 to join the suit.

          " 'The judge has confirmed you cannot use one track for one race and one track for another race, and we would go even further than that and say you can't use race in this haphazard fashion in which they've been doing it,' said Lee Adams, one of several Atlanta lawyers representing some white students and employees in the reverse discrimination lawsuit."  (Savannah Morning News, 01-09-99, by Leonora Parker)
[ link http://www.savannahmorningnews.com:80/smn/stories/010999/LOCdiscriminationruling.html ]

Affirmative Action for Men at U of Georgia
          "THE CONCEPT of affirmative action for men sounds like the mocking response of a majority group offended by minority entitlements. Yet, that effectively is what the University of Georgia has been doing for three years in its admissions policies."   (Savanah Morning News 12/16/98)
[ http://www.savannahmorningnews.com:80/smn/stories/121698/OPEDtwo.html ]

Judge: Racial Quotas at U Georgia Unconstitutional (Chronicle subcribers only)
          "A federal judge has ruled that an admissions policy used by the University of Georgia from 1990 to 1995 to grant preferences to black applicants was unconstitutional.  The judge, in rejecting an argument championed by some groups that the system was needed to promote diversity, criticized the 'stigmatizing, polarizing costs imposed by racial classifications.'  The ruling, by U.S. District Court Judge B. Avant Edenfield, has no practical impact on the university's current admissions policy, which was changed in 1996. However, Judge Edenfield wrote that he wanted to rule on the defunct policy anyway, to insure that it was not reinstated in the future."   (Chronicle of Higher Education, paid subscribers only, 01-11-99)
[link http://www.chronicle.com/daily/99/01/99011101n.htm ]

White Students Sue University of Georgia for Discrimination
          "If Craig Greene had been of African-American or black race he would have been admitted to the University of Georgia as an undergraduate freshman during the 1997-1998 school year", Atlanta attorney A. Lee Parks wrote in a plaintiff's motion.  (Savannah Morning News 11/26/98) 

See Also:  UGA Vows Fight to Continue Quotas (08/16/00)

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