Supreme Court: Affirmative Action on Trial

Posted: Oct 10, 2013 5:05 PM
Supreme Court: Affirmative Action on Trial

The United States Supreme Court will consider next Tuesday whether or not Michigan violated the Equal Protection Clause by banning affirmative action in public university admissions.

Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action dates back to November 2006 when:

“fifty-eight percent of Michigan’s voters adopted a proposal that amended Michigan’s

Constitution to prohibit discrimination, or the granting of preferential treatment, in public education, government contracting, and public employment based on race, sex, ethnicity, or national origin.”

In 2011, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative claiming it restructured the political process along racial lines and classified individuals on the basis of race.

The proposal to ban race consideration would hinder minorities, an affirmative action coalition wrote, because these groups would no longer be permitted to:

“ask the universities to consider the cultural biases in the standardized tests that allow the poorest white students to score higher on those tests than the most privileged minority students….minorities may not fight for their children’s future, and the universities must pretend that race and racism do not exist.”

Despite claims that the law discriminates against minorities, University of San Diego law professor Gail Heriot said Thursday the initiative requires equality:

“It’s discriminatory in the sense that a racial group can’t petition for preferential treatment”

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said Wednesday he believes the Justices will respect the the decision of Michigan voters and uphold the state amendment:

“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”