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Amanda Weiner Essay Assignment Call of the Question: How should the court rule on Johns summary judgment

motion? (The court should rule) RULE: Summary judgment should be granted when no issue of material fact exists The court should deny Johns summary judgment motion. A court should grant a motion for summary judgment only when no issue of material fact exists in a given case. To prevail on a summary judgment, a party must show that considering the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, there is no issue of material fact to be decided at trial, and the case should therefore be resolved as a matter of law. In filing suiting claiming that Schools admission policies were illegal, Johns claims essentially are equal protection claims. Equal protection claims are brought when persons similarly situated are treated differently. Equal protection review applies where a law affects the rights of some persons with respect to a specific activity. Schools new admissions policy involve components, all of which treat a certain class of individuals differently than the rest. For example, (B) requires the School to increase the grade point averages of all African American applicants prior to consideration of their applications. Section (D) imposes this same requirement on all applicants who are accomplished musicians. As a result, individuals who define themselves as another race, and/or are not accomplished musicians do not receive the benefit of the increase in their grade point averages prior to consideration of their application. Equal protection claims, however, receive a different standard of review depending on the nature of the measure being challenged. The strict scrutiny standard applies to government actions that use suspect classifications, such as race, alienage, and national origin. The intermediate scrutiny standard applies to government action using a quasi-suspect classification, such as gender and illegitimacy. Last, the rational basis standard of review applies to all classifications not falling under strict or intermediate scrutiny, such as classifications based on age, poverty, wealth, disability, and need for necessities of life. The first aspect of the policy provides that no fewer than 5% of the enrolled first year class shall be Native American. This requires a strict scrutiny analysis because it involves an issue of race. Under this standard, the burden of persuasion is on the government to prove that the measure being challenged is necessary to further a compelling interest. In other words, there must be no less restrictive alternative means available to accomplish the governments objective. Typically, the government fails to prove its burden under this type of analysis. School can argue that this policy is necessary to achieve a compelling interest of serving a percentage of the overall State population and achieve diversity. John, however, can likely argue that there are other, less restrictive means to accomplish this goal. The next aspect, imposing a requirement that all African American applicants will have their college grade point averages increased by 20% prior to the

consideration of their applications, also requires a strict scrutiny analysis because it involves an issue of race. John will argue that this consideration is facially discriminatory because the rule, by its very language, creates distinctions between classes of persons, or in the alternative, its application has a disproportionate effect on a particular class of persons. School may succeed is putting forth a compelling interest (the States African American citizens have suffered great historical discrimination), but may have difficulty prevailing overall due to the potential lack of a necessary means. School will have to prove that this requirement is necessary to accomplish their goal, and there are less restrictive alternative means. Third, an applicants race or national origin may be considered by Schools admissions committee as a plus in a particular applicants file. Again, race is a classification that falls under the strict scrutiny analysis, which requires government to prove that the measure being challenged is necessary to further a compelling interest. The issue that will be disputed here, however, will likely be the fact that there is no guidance regarding the meaning of a plus in a particular applicants file. Therefore, it is likely that this method will be arbitrary and highly subjective. Last, all applicants who are accomplished musicians will have their college grade point averages increased by 20% prior to the consideration of their applications. This requirement is similar to the second, stated above. However, unlike the second requirement, this consideration does not involve an applicants race; rather, this imposes a consideration on applicants who are accomplished musicians. This category of individuals would most likely fall under the rational basis standard of review, since it does not fall under the other two standards. Under this standard of review, the burden of persuasion is on the plaintiff to show that the measure being challenged serves no legitimate government interest or is not rationally related to any legitimate interest. Rational relationship is a minimal requirement which means that the rule cannot be arbitrary or unreasonable. Practically any police power regulation which furthers a health, safety, or welfare purpose will be found legitimate. It is likely that this last consideration will be highly disputed. John will argue that this consideration was designed with the idea of the importance of traditional music to all minority groups. The rule, however, does not apply to minority groups but rather to all individuals who are accomplished musicians. The court should deny Johns summary judgment motion because it is clear that there are issues of material fact to be decided at trial. School is entitled to present evidence that may possibly prove that some, or all, of the considerations under the new admissions policy are necessary to achieve a compelling interest. The court cannot grant summary judgment at this point, because School has not yet been given the opportunity to present any evidence regarding these matters.