Narrow tailoring (also known as narrow framing) is the legal principle that a law be written to specifically fulfill only its intended goals.
This phrase is most commonly invoked in constitutional law cases in the United States, such as First Amendment cases, or Equal Protection cases involving racial discrimination by creating racial distinctions. In the case Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), the United States Supreme Court held that:
Even in the limited circumstance when drawing racial distinctions is permissible to further a compelling state interest, government is still constrained under equal protection clause in how it may pursue that end: the means chosen to accomplish the government's asserted purpose must be specifically and narrowly framed to accomplish that purpose.
Regarding affirmative action, narrow tailoring is used to justify the discrimination that universities employ when considering race as a factor in admissions. Also in the case Grutter v. Bollinger, it is stated "truly individualized consideration demands that race be used in a flexible, non-mechincal way." Here, race is being used a "plus" factor for minority students.
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