Supreme Court Affirms Ban On Race-Conscious College Admissions
By Scott Neuman
The Supreme Court ruled that a Michigan ballot initiative to ban racial preferences in college admissions is constitutional, overturned a lower court decision.
In a 6-2 decision, the justices said the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong to set aside the voter-approved ban as discriminatory.
Justice Kennedy wrote the majority decision and Chief Justice John Roberts and Stephen Breyer authored concurring opinions.
Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented and Justice Elena Kagan took no part in the case.
Kennedy stressed that the case was not about the constitutionality or merits of the race-conscious admission policies of colleges and universities, but instead hinged on whether voters in the state may choose to prohibit consideration of such preferences.
The Michigan ballot initiative, known as Proposal 2, was passed in 2006. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Proposal 2 in 2012.
The American Civil Liberties Union, NAACP Legal Defense Fund and others challenged Proposal 2, saying it unfairly and unconstitutionally rigs the admissions system against minority students.
"Minority students and others who support a broadly diverse student body should not have to overturn a constitutional amendment simply to have their voices heard in the admissions process when everyone else can go directly to the university," the ACLU said in a fact sheet about the case.