Michigan College Affirmative Action Ban Upheld by Supreme Court

Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 03:35 PM

By Jonna Lorenz

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Michigan’s ban on using affirmative action in college admissions, protecting a 2006 decision by voters to prohibit public colleges and universities from considering race in admissions decisions, The Associated Press reported.

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

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The 6-2 ruling could have implications for similar initiatives in California and Washington.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg cast the dissenting votes. Justice Elena Kagan was recused from the decision.

"For members of historically marginalized groups, which rely on the federal courts to protect their constitutional rights, the decision can hardly bolster hope for a vision of democracy that preserves for all the right to participate meaningfully and equally in self-government," Sotomayor wrote in her 58-page dissent.

Efforts to increase diversity in schools have been controversial since the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling ended segregation.

Last year, the Supreme Court upheld the use of affirmative action at the University of Texas, but made it harder for institutions to justify such policies to achieve diversity. In 2003, the court ruled that state universities could use race as a factor in admissions decisions but not as the determining factor.

There is disagreement about whether affirmative action bans have led to reduced minority enrollment numbers, CNN reported.

Reactions on Twitter were mixed.

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