The American Bar Association will tell the Supreme Court that it opposes racial quotas in determining admissions to medical and law schools, President Justin Stanley said yesterday.
Stanley said professional schools should "consider race and economic and educational background as relevant factors in selecting from among qualified candidates for admission.
"We will not, however, endorse a quota system," he said.
Stanley explained the position the ABA is preparing to take in a major "reverse discrimination" cas before the Supreme Court next term.
Allan Bakke, 36, twice rejected by the University of California medical school at Davis, went to court charging that a quota system admitting 16 class to the 100-member entering class denied him equal protection of the law. Bakke, who had high medical school admissions test scores, said he would have been admitted if not for the minority admission program.
Last Oct. 28, the California Supreme court ruled the program unconstitutional and ordered the university to admit Bakke. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the issue next fall or winter, and the ABA will be one of many groups filing "friend of the court" briefs.
Stanley said the ABA recognized after a 1967 study that failure to train adequate numbers of minority lawyers constituted a serious but the Bakke case tests an admissions program that gives separate and preferrential treatment to "disadvantage minorities," he said.
It "presents important issues with potentially significant impact on law school admissions programs and on the future constitution of the legal profession," he said.