DEFUNIS v. ODEGAARD

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
73-235
Petitioner 
DeFunis
Respondent 
Odegaard
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

DeFunis was denied admission to the University of Washington Law School despite test scores that were higher than some of the minorities admitted. DeFunis then successfully asked a trial court to require the school to admit him. On appeal, the Washington Supreme Court reversed, upholding the school's decision to deny DeFunis admission. The U.S. Supreme Court considered the case as DeFunis was entering his final year of school.

Question 

Was the case in question moot and therefore outside the scope of judicial review?

Conclusion 
Decision: 5 votes for DeFunis, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Article 3, Section 2, Paragraph 1: Case or Controversy Requirement

In a 5-4 per curiam opinion, the Court held that because the University of Washington Law School had agreed to allow DeFunis to enroll and to earn a diploma, the case in question was moot. DeFunis would be able to complete his legal studies irrespective of any Supreme Court decision. The controversy between parties had thus "clearly ceased to be 'definite and concrete' and no longer 'touch[ed] the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interests.'"

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DEFUNIS v. ODEGAARD. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 23 October 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1973/1973_73_235>.
DEFUNIS v. ODEGAARD, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1973/1973_73_235 (last visited October 23, 2014).
"DEFUNIS v. ODEGAARD," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed October 23, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1973/1973_73_235.