U.S. Supreme Court Takes Up Michigan Affirmative Action Ban

Mar 25, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court will review Michigan’s ban on race- and gender-based affirmative action in university admissions. Arguments in the case are expected to take place next fall.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is defending the amendment to the state constitution, which was adopted by voters in 2006. Schuette says race and gender should not be part of the decision on who gets to attend a public university.                

“When somebody knocks, knocks, knocks on the doors of one of our universities, it ought to be on someone’s ability, their talents, and by merit, and I really think that’s what the constitution is about,” he says.

Even though the most-recent ruling allows universities to use race and gender as a consideration in admissions, supporters of affirmative action are pleased the court agreed to the review.

“This law is in effect in Michigan and California and four other states, and it’s destroying the lives of black and Latino students and, really, is harming the entire country,” says George Washington, an attorney for By Any Means Necessary. The group challenged the amendment banning affirmative action in court.

It’s expected the Michigan case will be heard after the court makes a decision on a challenge to the University of Texas’ affirmative action policy, likely this fall.