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Ban on affirmative action in Michigan struck down

University of Michigan flags.
University of Michigan flags.
cseeman/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)

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On Friday, a federal appeals court in Michigan struck down the state’s ban on the consideration of race and gender in college admissions. In a 2 -1 decision the court ruled that the ban, approved by voters in 2006, burdens minorities and violates the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. This ruling overturns a sweeping law that prohibited the University of Michigan and other public schools from taking race and gender into consideration when reviewing applications for acceptance into these institutions. Friday’s decision won't affect Arizona, California, Nebraska and Washington who have similar bans because the ruling is limited to states in the 6th Circuit, which includes Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. Critics of the decision like Jennifer Gratz, a Michigan native who successfully sued the University of Michigan over racial preferences before the 2006 referendum, predicted Friday's decision eventually will be thrown out. Michigan pledged to appeal the court’s ruling.


Erwin Chemerinsky, Founding Dean of the UCI Law School

John Eastman, Former Dean and Professor, Chapman University School of Law; Founding Director, Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence