State Civil Rights Commission At Odds With A.G. Over Affirmative Action Ban

Aug 24, 2011

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is at odds with the state Attorney General over a question of affirmative action.

Attorney General Bill Schuette is trying to get the courts to side with Michigan voters, who chose in 2002 to ban the use of race or gender in admissions decisions.

The Civil Rights Commission has now filed an opposing brief.

Already last month, a panel of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down the ban on affirmative action in admissions policies. The Michigan attorney general is now asking the entire court to reconsider and reverse that decision. He says the court should give deference to the wishes of Michigan voters. 

The Civil Rights Commission, an independent agency whose members were all appointed in recent years by then-Governor Jennifer Granholm, contends in its brief that universities, not voters, should be trusted to make decisions in the best interests of their students. They say it was unconstitutional to single-out admissions policies dealing with race and gender diversity on the ballot.

There is no word on when the court may decide whether to reconsider its decision.