Representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP, the American Jewish Committee, and the National Law Guild participated in a panel discussion on affirmative action and the ongoing Supreme Court case Regents of the University of California v. Bakke.

Allan Bakke, rejected twice from the University of California at Davis Medical School, contended that since his credentials were stronger than any minority candidates admitted under the school’s affirmative action plan he was discriminated against because he was white. On June 28, 1978, the Supreme Court took two positions, with Justice Lewis Powell as the swing vote in each. Finding the medical school’s use of a quota for minorities unconstitutional, it ordered Bakke admitted.  It held, however, that consideration of race was permissible as one of several admission criteria, thus upholding the concept of affirmative action.