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High court upholds MI affirmative action ban

Posted by on Apr. 22, 2014 at 11:40 AM
  • 97 Replies
2 moms liked this


Quote:

High court upholds Mich affirmative action ban

Associated Press 
By MARK SHERMAN10 minutes ago 
.

SC upholds Michigan affirmative action ban

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Michigan's ban on using race as a factor in college admissions despite one justice's impassioned dissent that accused the court of wanting to wish away racial inequality.

The justices said in a 6-2 ruling that Michigan voters had the right to change their state constitution in 2006 to prohibit public colleges and universities from taking account of race in admissions decisions. The justices said that a lower federal court was wrong to set aside the change as discriminatory.

The decision bolstered similar voter-approved initiatives banning affirmative action in education in California and Washington state. A few other states have adopted laws or issued executive orders to bar race-conscious admissions policies.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said voters chose to eliminate racial preferences, presumably because such a system could give rise to race-based resentment. Kennedy said nothing in the Constitution or the court's prior cases gives judges the authority to undermine the election results.

"This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it," Kennedy said.

In dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the decision tramples on the rights of minorities, even though the amendment was adopted democratically.

"But without checks, democratically approved legislation can oppress minority groups," said Sotomayor, who read her dissent aloud in the courtroom Tuesday. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sided with Sotomayor in dissent.

Judges "ought not sit back and wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society," Sotomayor said. She is one of two justices, along with Clarence Thomas, who have acknowledged that affirmative action was a factor in their admission to Princeton University and Yale University, respectively. They both attended law school at Yale. Thomas is a staunch opponent of racial preferences.

At 58 pages, Sotomayor's dissent was longer than the combined length of the four opinions in support of the outcome.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Thomas agreed with Kennedy.

Responding to Sotomayor, Roberts said it "does more harm than good to question the openness and candor of those on either side of the debate."

Justice Elena Kagan did not take part in the case, presumably because she worked on it at an earlier stage while serving in the Justice Department.

In 2003, the Supreme Court upheld the consideration of race among many factors in college admissions in a case from Michigan.

Three years later, affirmative action opponents persuaded Michigan voters to change the state constitution to outlaw any consideration of race.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the issue was not affirmative action, but the way in which its opponents went about trying to bar it.

In its 8-7 decision, the appeals court said the provision ran afoul of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment because it presents an extraordinary burden to affirmative action supporters who would have to mount their own long, expensive campaign to repeal the constitutional provision.

Black and Latino enrollment at the University of Michigan has dropped since the ban took effect. At California's top public universities, African-Americans are a smaller share of incoming freshmen, while Latino enrollment is up slightly, but far below the state's growth in the percentage of Latino high school graduates.

The case was the court's second involving affirmative action in as many years. In June, the justices ordered lower courts to take another look at the University of Texas admissions plan in a ruling that could make it harder for public colleges to justify any use of race in admissions.

The case is Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, 12-682.


by on Apr. 22, 2014 at 11:40 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Katharine205
by on Apr. 22, 2014 at 11:53 AM
14 moms liked this

Perhaps we should judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin...but I swear I've heard that before.  People should be accepted into colleges and careers and promotions by their abilities, by their willingness to learn/perform, by their skills, but NOT by their color.  Affirmative action is nothing more than socially accepted racism. 

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Apr. 22, 2014 at 12:17 PM

BUMP!

4music
by Bronze Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 12:32 PM
6 moms liked this

 I do not believe that race/ethnicity should even be a line on college applications.

candlegal
by Judy on Apr. 22, 2014 at 12:45 PM
2 moms liked this

Good, hopefully other states will follow.

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Apr. 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM


Quoting candlegal:

Good, hopefully other states will follow.

Seems my state is weighing in on this.  I may have to take a look and see where all this stands.

littlelamb303
by Bronze Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM
1 mom liked this

I agree with this 100%

candlegal
by Judy on Apr. 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM
1 mom liked this

Gee, what a great idea.

Quoting Katharine205:

Perhaps we should judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin...but I swear I've heard that before.  People should be accepted into colleges and careers and promotions by their abilities, by their willingness to learn/perform, by their skills, but NOT by their color.  Affirmative action is nothing more than socially accepted racism. 


Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 12:58 PM
All the SCOTUS said, that a state banning affirmative - actions isn't unconstitutional; it didn't say affirmative action in and of itself is unconstitutional.

While I'm disappointed in the ruling; I do feel it's a just ruling.
OHgirlinCA
by Platinum Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 1:10 PM
4 moms liked this

 I'm glad to see this.  One should be admitted on their character and accomplishments.  Their race should not be a factor. 

candlegal
by Judy on Apr. 22, 2014 at 6:21 PM

BUMP!

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