Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court to hear state affirmative action case

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it would again take up the issue of affirmative action in university admissions by agreeing to review a federal court's decision to overturn Michigan's voter-approved ban on the use of race in college admissions.


Q&A regarding Proposal 2

Background on the U-M admissions lawsuits

The nation's high court will hear an appeal filed by state Attorney General Bill Schuette after the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Proposal 2, the ballot initiative approved by voters in 2006, was unconstitutional. The court said it would take up the case, known as Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, in the term that begins in October.

Proposal 2 amended the Michigan Constitution by adding a provision prohibiting discrimination and preferential treatment based on race, ethnicity, sex, or national origin in public education, public employment, and public contracting. U-M remains in full compliance with Proposal 2.

The 6th Circuit concluded that Proposal 2 violated the federal Equal Protection Clause by making it more difficult for minority groups to participate fully and equally in the state's political processes, particularly with respect to the ability to seek changes in university admissions policies.  

The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision in June on a challenge to the University of Texas admissions process that considers race as one of the factors in selecting its freshman class. The court heard oral argument in that case earlier this term.