Supreme Court Upholds Michigan’s Ban on Race-Conscious Admissions

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Michigan’s voter-approved ban on racial preferences in college admissions, reversing an appeals court’s 2012 decision that found the ban to be unconstitutional.

Tuesday’s decision in the case, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action (No. 12-682), concerned a dispute over a ballot measure called Proposal 2, which voters passed in 2006 and which barred the use of race-conscious college admissions by the state’s public colleges.

A divided federal appeals court struck down the ban in 2012, finding that it violated the U.S. Constitution’s equal-protection clause.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, considered the swing vote on the Supreme Court, delivered the opinion in the case, which was decided, 6 to 2. The majority rejected the argument that the ballot measure had discriminated against minority residents of the state by putting them at a distinct political disadvantage in urging admissions policies that benefited them. Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from the case.

For more on the court’s decision, see this article from The Chronicle.

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