-5864890a228622df

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s controversial ban on affirmative action in public college admissions in a divided opinion released Tuesday morning. Many feel that it’s this status quo that has contributed to the lack of minority enrollment at the state’s flagship college.

While Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, Justice Sonia Sotomayor authored the dissenting opinion. The decision was divided 6-2, as Justice  Kagan removing herself from the case because she was the U.S. solicitor general when the case was before the lower courts.

The decision could lead more states to enact bans against race preferences in university admissions, but it does not affect university affirmative action programs in other states.  Currently,  California, Florida, Washington, Arizona, Nebraska, Oklahoma and New Hampshire have similar bans.

From USA Today:

“This case is not about how the debate (over racial preferences) should be resolved,” Justice Anthony Kennedy said in announcing the ruling. But to stop Michigan voters from making their own decision on affirmative action would be “an unprecedented restriction on a fundamental right held by all in common.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor read a summary of her lengthy, 58-page dissent from the bench, in which Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined. She said the decision creates “a two-tiered system of political change” by requiring only race-based proposals to surmount the state Constitution, while all other proposals can go to school boards.

As a result of the ruling, said Sotomayor, a product of affirmative action policies, minority enrollment will decline at Michigan’s public universities, just as it has in California and elsewhere. “The numbers do not lie,” she said.

University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and admissions director Ted Spencer opposed the affirmative action ban, saying  that the school cannot achieve a fully diverse student body with it in place.

“It’s impossible,” Spencer said in a recent interview, “to achieve diversity on a regular basis if race cannot be used as one of many factors.

Tags: ,
Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • Brad

    ““It’s impossible,” Spencer said in a recent interview, “to achieve diversity on a regular basis if race cannot be used as one of many factors.”

    Sounds like the university president and the admissions director are fearful of recruitment and enrollment losses. There are plenty of colleges that would happily accept any of the students who were rejected.

  • Anthony

    Black students are going to have to buckle down and blow folks away with great GPAs and test scores. If nothing else, it will be “fun” to hear what excuse racists will use to deny us opportunity then.

    I know we can make the grades. If our cousins can come here from Africa and make the grades, we can too. I know we will have to overcome societal and structural issues, but we have done that before too.

    • Smilez_920

      Often times we do “blow” the competition out of the water
      and still have a hard time being chosen/considered. Remember affirmative action also affects
      women, mainly white women. I wonder how attitudes will changed once white women
      start having a harder time getting into certain colleges and universities.

      Also affirmative action isn’t used to help people who don’t
      make the grade get into school, it for those who have meet the requirements ,
      sometimes above and beyond, be looked at and considered.

    • Anthony

      I’ve spent my life in higher education, and I have worked on scholarship committees too. I have heard first hand the things that certain folks say about black applicants.

  • Motorcity Mami

    You cannot expect us to live in a equal society where everyone still wants to divide and be accepted for certain things because of race only. I live in Michigan and I voted to uphold the ban. Yes, there are institutional barriers and unfair societal structures that undermine specific groups in the populations, but guess what? Life isn’t fair. You don’t see the students who do excel in poor communities and sub-par schools whining about life isn’t fair, they simply do what they need in order to make sure they don’t succumb to the environment around them. We all have the power to change our circumstances, PERIOD.

    • Anastasia Hill-Thompson

      “You cannot expect us to live in a equal society where everyone still
      wants to divide and be accepted for certain things because of race only”
      the irony lol.