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DeFunis v. Odegaard, 416 U.S. 312 (1974) , was a United States Supreme Courtmarker case that was determined to be moot, and therefore could not go forward. Marco DeFunis who had been denied admission to the University of Washingtonmarker School of Law, and then had been provisionally admitted during the pendancy of the case, was slated to graduate within a few months at the time the decision was rendered.

DeFunis sued the University of Washington Law School because he believed that the institution rejected him for a less qualified minority applicant, accepted under affirmative action.

The Court rejected the assertion that the case fell into either of two exceptions to the mootness doctrine that were raised by the plaintiff. The case did not constitute "voluntary cessation" on the part of the defendant law school, because the plaintiff was now in his final semester, and the law school could take no action to deny him the ability to graduate. Nor was this a question that was "capable of repetition, yet evading review" because the plaintiff would never again face this situation, and others who might raise the same complaint in the future might be able to receive full review in the courts.

See also


  1. Karabel, Jerome. The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Boston: Mifflin, 2005.

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