Recent Cases, Fourth Circuit Finds University of Maryland Minority Scholarship Program Unconstitutional, Podberesky v. Kirwan
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
The use of minority scholarships to create a diverse student body and to remedy past discrimination has been the subject of considerable controversy in recent years. Although such scholarships constitute a small percentage of financial aid for higher education, opponents of minority scholarships argue that they unfairly discriminate against non-minority students on the basis of race. In Podberesky v. Kirwan, the Fourth Circuit held that the University of Maryland at College Park (UMCP) denied Daniel Podberesky, a Hispanic/white student, equal protection of the laws by excluding him from consideration for the race-based Benjamin Banneker Scholarship Program. The program, the court held, was not narrowly tailored to remedy past discrimination at the University. In its analysis, however, the court applied only a portion of the applicable legal standard. A proper analysis of the program using the factors set forth in United States v. Paradise would have demonstrated that the program was narrowly tailored to address the racial problems of the University.