Supreme Court Upholds Michigan’s Affirmative Action Ban
A splintered Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled 6-2 states may end racial preferences without violating the U.S. Constitution, upholding a Michigan law that grew out of the state’s long-running debate over affirmative action policies at public universities.
The ruling leaves in place the outcome of a 2006 Michigan ballot initiative where voters backed an end to racial preferences at state schools. (source: WSJ)
Supreme Court upholds Michigan ban on affirmative action
Justice Anthony Kennedy, speaking for the majority, said the democratic process can decide such issues. “This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved,” he said. “It is about who may resolve it. There is no authority in the Constitution of the United States or in this court’s precedents for the judiciary to set aside Michigan laws that commit this policy determination to the voters.”
In 2003, the high court upheld an affirmative action policy at the University of Michigan Law School. But three years later, the state’s voters adopted Proposal 2 by a 58% to 42% margin. It said public colleges and universities “shall not discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.”
But that policy was challenged as discriminatory by two groups that had advocated for affirmative action. And the U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati declared it unconstitutional on the grounds that it took away a policy that had helped minority students.
Via – LA Times
Supreme Court delivers another blow to affirmative action
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor — two lonely voices equating the populace’s disdain for race-based admissions with exclusion of minorities from public benefits — dissented. (“This time, although it allowed the minority access to the political process, the majority changed the ground rules of the process so as to make it more difficult for the minority, and the minority alone, to obtain policies designed to foster racial integration. Although these political restructurings may not have been discriminatory in purpose, the Court reaffirmed the right of minority members of our society to participate meaningfully and equally in the political process.”) The only thing missing, of course, is a shred of evidence it will make it more difficult for minorities to participate in policies that “foster integration” — through race-based policies. Justice Elena Kagan, who worked on the case, recused herself.
The public, in state after state, has registered its disdain for race-based policies. This doesn’t make a majority of citizens in these states racists, nor does it damage the cause of racial equality. It is in a very real sense an affirmation of the ideal that we should be judged by the content of our character — as well as experience, achievements and intellectual capacity — not by the color of our skin.
More – Washington Post