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Hopwood v. Texas

Is Diversity a Compelling Interest?

District Court Court of Appeals
Diversity

Absent an explicit statement from the Supreme Court overruling Bakke, this Court finds, in the context of the law school's admissions process, obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a racially and ethnically diverse student body remains a sufficiently compelling interest to support the use of racial classifications.

  • Hopwood v. Texas, 861 F. Supp. 551, 570-71 (W.D. Tex. 1994)

We agree with the plaintiffs that any consideration of race or ethnicity by the law school for the purpose of achieving a diverse student body is not a compelling interest under the Fourteenth Amendment.

  • Hopwood v. Texas, 78 F.3d 932, 944 (5th Cir. 1996)
 

The use of race, in and of itself, to choose students simply achieves a student body that looks different.  Such a criterion is no more rational on its own terms that would be choices based upon the physical size or blood type of applicants.

  • Hopwood v. Texas, 78 F.3d 932, 945 (5th Cir. 1996)
 

Inasmuch as the Hopwood II panel's ruling on diversity did not rise to the level of clear error, the law of the case doctrine bars our revisiting or disregarding that decision today.

  • Hopwood v. Texas, 236 F.3d 256, 275 (5th Cir. 2000)