UC Berkeley College Republicans' Bake Sale

Last week, the Berkeley College Republicans held a "Diversity Bake Sale" on campus, where they charged different prices for their baked goods, according to race. For example, White students were charged $2, whereas Native Americans were charged $0.25 for the same product.  The point of the stunt was to express the group's disapproval over affirmative action in higher education. The students claimed that the prices were meant to reflect the potentially negative aspects of affirmative action.

The bake sale was planned to coincide with another student event, which involved encouraging Governor Jerry Brown to sign a bill allowing for affirmative action in admissions decisions to the University of California system, since they were outlawed in 1996 by a voter initiative, Proposition 209.

The bake sale went ahead, despite a community outcry. Students voiced their disagreements both at the bake sale, and across the street in a counter protest.

U.S. Supreme Court Affirmative Action Higher Education Law

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard several cases on the subject of affirmative action. Below are a sampling of the landmark cases in the area:

Regents of the Univ. of Cal. v. Bakke--This 1978 case dealt with the admissions system at UC Davis' medical school. The Court held that while racial diversity was a justifiable goal, admissions decisions based solely on race, were discrimination themselves.





Grutter v. Bollinger--This 2003 case dealt with the admissions system in place at University of Michigan Law School. The Court upheld the use of race as a "plus" factor, but not a deciding factor, in the law school admissions process.

Gratz v. Bollinger--This 2003 case dealt with the admissions system in place for undergraduate admissions at University of Michigan. The Court struck down the University's system for failing to meet the narrowly tailored requirement, since the system automatically awarded admissions points to every minority student applying, regardless of other factors.