Grace-Marie Turner — president of the Galen Institute, a public-policy research group — has hailed the Supreme Court's decision to uphold a Michigan law that bans the use of racial criteria in college admissions.
"This was a constitutional amendment passed by the voters themselves, and so, it's really very difficult for the Supreme Court to say that this is not valid," Turner told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"This is clearly the will of the voters who have seen the effect of affirmative action and really enhancing discrimination in many ways," she said Tuesday.
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In a 3-2 decision, the justices found that a lower court did not have the power to set aside the law, which was approved by 58 percent of the voters in a 2006 referendum.
The law prohibits publicly funded colleges from giving "preferential treatment" on the basis of "race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin."
"Really what we're talking about is equality, and we have seen the impact of these racial quotas that really wind up disadvantaging minorities in many, many different ways and disadvantage people who have an otherwise legitimate case that they should have those admission slots themselves," Turner said.
"It shows an evolution of the democratic process, where people try something, they see the effect, and then they begin to readjust that and say, maybe there's a better way to get to the same result but to do it in a way that's really in concert with our Constitution."
Justice Anthony Kennedy, one of the three jurists in the majority, wrote:
"This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it.
"Michigan voters used the initiative system to bypass public officials who were deemed not responsive to the concerns of a majority of the voters with respect to a policy of granting race-based preferences that raises difficult and delicate issues."
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