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Extra info for A Black and White Case: How Affirmative Action Survived Its Greatest Legal Challenge
LEDFORD 16 A G AT H E R I N G S T O R M By the time Lee Bollinger sought the Michigan presidency in 1996, he had established himself as a staunch— and shrewd—defender of affirmative action. While serving as dean of Michigan Law School, Bollinger had reshaped its admissions policies, in part to protect against a legal attack. take part. Bollinger testified that classroom diversity was an essential part of a top-notch legal education and that schools like Michigan cannot achieve diversity without using race in the admissions process.
He set out to prove that diversity had educational value. Payton thought that proposition indisputable, but experience had taught him not to count on the Supreme Court to make even what seemed an obvious assumption. head. His booming voice and blunt speaking style made him seem taller than his barely average height. Some people thought he bore a vague resemblance to television journalist Ed Bradley. Throughout his adult life, Payton had never strayed far from the cause of minority rights. He was a Los Angles native who attended nearby Pomona College in the middle of the turbulent 1960s.
Supreme Court in NAACP v. 5 At Wilmer, Payton split his time between the firm’s staple commercial litigation practice and civil rights. In the late 1980s, the city of Richmond, Virginia, asked Payton to argue a Supreme Court appeal 42 A G AT H E R I N G S T O R M seeking to revive a set-aside program that directed city construction work to minority-owned businesses. Payton readily agreed to take on the case, but soon discovered he faced a daunting obstacle. The city’s lawyers at the lower court level, for whatever reason, had made no effort to show why minorities received only a tiny fraction of the city’s construction dollars.