Michigan Affirmative-Action Ban Rejected

    John Dingell, D-Mich., speaks at a press conference with University of Michigan students as the Supreme Court debated Tuesday, April 1, 2003 in Washington whether colleges and universities may legally consider race when admitting students. The affirmative action cases directly address only admissions at public, tax-supported institutions, but the court's rationale is expected to have a wide ripple through private colleges and universities, other government decision-making and the business world.

    Lisa Nipp / AP Photo

    An appeals-court panel has struck down a Michigan statute that banned the consideration of race in college admissions, saying that it “unconstitutionally alters Michigan’s political structure by impermissibly burdening racial minorities.” The 2-1 decision overrules a 2006 amendment to Michigan’s constitution that forbade admissions counselors from taking race and sex into account. The U.S. Supreme Court, which seems poised to ultimately consider this case as well, ruled in 2003 that universities may not establish race quotas but they may consider race along with other factors.

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