In tandem with the decision in Grutter, the Supreme Court set the stage for renewed use of race, ethnicity, and national origin in college and university admissions programs, provided that the policies were “narrowly tailored.” As such, Gratz is especially important regarding policy implementation and what it means to be “narrowly tailored.” The consideration of an applicant’s race or ethnicity may be only one factor in an individualized evaluation and only to achieve the goal of “diversity.” It cannot be mechanical or inflexible and, in particular, must not give disproportionate weight to otherwise suspect characteristics.

The decision is also notable for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent, which argued that the Michigan’s undergraduate policy had the virtue of being “open” and “candid.” She postulated that colleges and universities would inevitably seek to attain diversity and the Court’s ruling might well encourage them to use “camouflage” rather than “candor.” Gratz, 539 U.SD. at 304. In doing so, she arguably set the stage for Justice Anthony Kennedy’s detailed discussion of what a proper diversity policy must entail in Fisher II.