Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, November 16, 2012

University reviewing court decision on affirmative action

The state's ban on affirmative action in college admissions was deemed unconstitutional Thursday in an 8-7 federal appeals court decision. The ruling comes six years after voters amended the state constitution to ban the use of race in college admissions.


Read the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.

"We have just received a copy of the 6th Circuit's opinion," Rick Fitzgerald, university spokesperson, said Thursday afternoon. "It is an extensive ruling, with what appear to be several individual opinions. It will take some time to fully review and consider the ramifications."

The court said the 2006 amendment to the Michigan constitution is illegal because it presents an extraordinary burden to opponents who would have to mount their own long, expensive campaign through the ballot box to protect affirmative action.

That burden "undermines the Equal Protection Clause's guarantee that all citizens ought to have equal access to the tools of political change," said Judge R. Guy Cole Jr., writing for the majority at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.