HigherEdMorning.comCourt nixes affirmative action admissions ban

Court nixes affirmative action admissions ban

July 19, 2011 by Jacob Hawley
Posted in: Admissions & Financial Aid, From the Courts, In this week's e-newsletter, Latest News & Views

A controversial state law on minority admissions is rejected. How will this affect other states? 

Michigan’s ban on considering race and gender in the college admissions process has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court. The 2-1 decision overturns a law passed in 2006.

Proposal 2, passed with 58% of the vote, forced changes to admissions policies to prohibit preferential treatment to any individual or group based on their race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin. But according to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, the law violates the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause.

Because Prop. 2 amended the state’s constitution, another statewide vote would be required to change it – which, the court argued, placed undue burden on minority interests who disapproved.

Other states within the 6th circuit – Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee – will also be affected by the ruling. So far at least, the Michigan ruling won’t impact other state bans in California, Arizona, Nebraska and Washington.

State Attorney General Bill Schuette plans to appeal the ruling via rehearing, until which the law will remain in place.

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