It is undeniable that affirmative action has been getting a lot of attention within the past year, as people continue to question its legitimacy and usefulness in the 21st century.
Next Tuesday, the Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in the case of Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. Justices will have to determine whether or not Michigan violated the Equal Protection Clause by banning affirmative action.
According to The Root, in 2006, 58% of Michigan voters approved the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, a ballot proposal, which banned racial, ethnic or sex-based preferential treatment for public education admissions, employment, and government contracting. However, several individuals, including the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary, have all come together to overturn the initiative. They do have some support, as the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state ban was unconstitutional in 2011.
“Because less onerous avenues to effect political change remain open to those advocating consideration of non-racial factors in admissions decisions, Michigan cannot force those advocating for consideration of racial factors to traverse a more arduous road without violating the Fourteenth Amendment,” Judge R. Guy Cole Jr. wrote for the majority, the Michigan Daily reported.
Interestingly enough, Bloomberg recently reported that Black enrollment at the University of Michigan declined by 30% at the undergraduate level and in the law school after the ban was approved.
The issue is now being revisited because Schuette appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, claiming that because a majority of state voters approved it, the initiative is indeed constitutional.
“Entrance to our great universities must be based upon merit,” Schuette told the Michigan Daily. “We are prepared to take the fight for quality, fairness and the rule of law to the U.S. Supreme Court.”