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Polygence Scholar2024
Ilayda Gökgöz's profile

Ilayda Gökgöz

Class of 2022Ankara, Ankara


Hi there! My name is İlayda and my Polygence project is on 'How can analyzing Justice Thomas' judicial opinions about affirmative action policy reveal potential future trends in modern Supreme Court decision-making?'


  • "Predicting the Future of Racial Equity through the Supreme Court Affirmative Action Cases" with mentor Isabella (Jan. 2, 2024)

Project Portfolio

Predicting the Future of Racial Equity through the Supreme Court Affirmative Action Cases

Started Aug. 9, 2023

Abstract or project description

Petitioner Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) supposed that Harvard College violates Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by discriminating Asian Americans in favor of white applicants. Harvard responded and admit that it uses race as one of many factors in the Harvard admissions. After a 15-day bench trial, the district court issued a detailed opinion in favor of Harvard. The case was originally consolidated for oral argument with a similar case challenging the admissions policies at the UNC under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, but the Court severed the cases. This inferences came up with a question; May institutions of higher education use race as a factor in admissions? Between the years 2015 and 2016, Abigail Fisher, a white female, applied for UT but was denied. The Supreme Court upheld the lower court's ruling, finding that the University of Texas had demonstrated that its use of race in admissions was narrowly tailored to the goal of promoting educational diversity. In 1997, Barbara Grutter, a white resident of Michigan, applied for admission to the University of Michigan Law School. Grutter applied with a 3.8 undergraduate GPA and an LSAT score of 161. She was denied admission. The Law School admits that it uses race as a factor in making admissions decisions because it serves a "compelling interest in achieving diversity among its student body.’’ Working on a project about affirmative action ("AA") and how one can understand how the SCOTUS thinks about race and the future of race politics through its recent AA decisions. Specifically looking at Justice Thomas' opinions because he is the consistent Justice on the Court throughout these cases.