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Landmark Cases of the U.S. Supreme Court

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Drawing Mixed Reactions: Political Cartoons in Response to the Michigan Affirmative Action Cases

Analyze the cartoon below in terms of its meaning related to the Michigan affirmative action cases, Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger.

  1. What do you see in the cartoon? Make a list. Include objects, people, and any characteristics that seem to be exaggerated.
  2. Which of the items on the list from Question 1 are symbols? What does each symbol stand for?
  3. What is happening in the cartoon?
  4. What is the cartoonist's message?
  5. Do you agree or disagree with the message? Explain your answer.

Cartoon 1

"Bush Turns Back Clock," Mike Keefe, The Denver Post, January 26, 2003.

Cartoon 2

"Bush and Michigan Affirmative Action," Mike Lane, Cagle Cartoons, January 16, 2003.

Cartoon 3

"You Must Be This Tall," Mike Lester, The Rome News-Tribune, June 24, 2003.

Cartoon 4

"Supremes on Affirmative Action," Mike Keefe, The Denver Post, June 24, 2003.

All of these cartoons are used with permission from

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