A federal judge yesterday agreed to consider arguments that the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Bakke reverse-discrimination case applies to a group of white Chicago policemen who lost out on promotions because of a racial quota system.
U.S. District Court Judge Prentice H. Marshall had been scheduled to sign an order ending the white policemen's hopes for quick promotion, but he delayed his action to allow lawyer Norman J. Barry to submit new arguments, based on the Bakke case, on behalf of his 111 policemen clients.
The high court ruled that the University of California at Davis must admit white medical school applicant Allan Bakke because he was denied admission by a rigid racial quota system.
Barry claims his clients scored high on a test for promotion to sergeant in 1973 but were passed over in favor of minority candidates because of similar racial quotas.
Marshall, who is black, imposed the quotas on the Police Department after ruling that the 1973 test was racially discriminatory. He ordered that 60 percent of new sergeants be white and 49 percent be members of minority groups.
Over Barry's objections, the judge last week accepted a city proposal to throw out the results of that test and to administer a new one later this year.
He was to sign an order to this effect yesterday, but instead postponed the action and gave Barry three weeks to study the Bakke case and submit new arguments.