Constitutional Law
Professor Harpaz
Equal Protection Review Question
Grading Sheet

Equal Protection Question (Milton Science Scholars Program) (total points - 30)
KK is used to identify an argument Katherine Kellogg would make. CCU is used to indicate an argument Central City University would make. CC is used to refer to Central City.


 Argument
Maximum Points
Classification is based on race since only African Americans are eligible for the scholarship. This program discriminates against other racial groups including white, Asian, and Hispanic applicants. Race is a suspect classification.
2 points
Classification also discriminates based on residence and wealth, but these are not suspect classes so CCU only needs to show that the discrimination is rationally related to a legitimate governmental interest. Since CC has many poor residents who are unable to afford to go to college, it is rational to provide scholarships for such students.
2 points
Standard of Review - The classification, even though benign and an example of affirmative action rather than invidious discrimination, will still need to satisfy strict scrutiny (the use of the classification must be narrowly tailored to accomplish a compelling governmental interest).
3 points
KK argues the government’s interest is not compelling. CCU is not compensating for its own past discrimination and it is not attempting to achieve student body diversity. These are the only compelling interests the Court has recognized to justify racial discrimination in education. CCU is trying to rectify societal discrimination that results in a small number of black scientists. This is not a compelling justification.
4 points
CCU argues that in light of the low number of African-American scientists, it has compelling justifications for the scholarship program because it would rectify under-representation in the sciences and contribute to educational diversity in CCU’s science classes.
3 points
KK argues that the means are not narrowly tailored. Race neutral means are available as an alternative. In light of the significant number of African-Americans in the population of CC, it is likely that a scholarship program aimed at poor residents of CC, even without any requirement of eligibility based on race, would result in a significant number of African-Americans among the Milton Scholars. To make sure that this occurs, CCU could recruit heavily to encourage black applicants. Also, the program could use a holistic system to evaluate applicants for scholarships where race was only a plus factor and not determinative like Michigan Law School.
5 points
CCU argues means are narrowly tailored. This program, unlike Michigan admissions programs, does not prevent any students from attending CCU. No places are put aside for black applicants. A program paid for with private money and carrying out wishes of a private citizen w/o spending tax money does not involve impermissible action on part of gov't. Forcing gov't to reject the money would not benefit any students. Targeted scholarship program paid for with private funds is narrowly tailored to achieve compelling gov'tal interest.
5 points
Program has much less adverse impact on applicants who are not eligible to become Milton Scholars (minority applicants who are not African-American such as Asians and Hispanic applicants and white applicants) than admissions programs at U of Mich. Students not denied place at CCU. They are no worse off than they would be if CCU did not have Milton Scholars program. Therefore, program helps those it benefits and does not harm those it doesn’t benefit. 3 points
Miscellaneous and special level of understanding of const'al issues
3 points