Intent or Impact: Proving Discrimination Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

This Note analyzes the controversy and concludes that courts must apply an impact standard in title VI cases. After reviewing the relevant Supreme Court decisions, Part I contends that Bakke did not overrule Lau’s approval of an impact standard. Part II examines the regulations on which the Lau court relied. It first characterizes them as legislative; they derive the force of law from an explicit congressional delegation of substantive power. Part II then tests the regulations’ impact standard against the language, legislative history, and policy of title VI and finds it valid. Since courts may not disregard valid legislative regulations, this Note concludes that an impact standard governs title VI litigation.