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Michigan Affirmative Action Ban Rejected by 6th Circuit

By Tanya Roth, Esq. | Last updated on

The debate on the use of affirmative action in college admissions has been in the news again and is likely poised for Supreme Court review once again.

According to CNN, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said that certain affirmative action based factors considered in university admissions were permissible. Or, more specifically, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Proposal 2, a 2006 Michigan constitutional amendment ban on the use of race or gender in the university admissions process.

As CNN reports, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on a 2-1 panel decision against the Michigan ban. The Michigan law banned "preferential treatment" at state universities or colleges, saying that such a ban was unconstitutional.

Recently, the University of Texas case made it up to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where that court declined review. The case was brought by two prospective college students who claimed a Texas affirmative action based law violated their constitutional rights when they were denied admission. It is now anticipated that the case may seek review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

But before the Michigan case goes before the Supreme Court, Attorney General Bill Schuette said he plans to ask the entire Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to review the case. And until he does so, the Proposal will remain in effect, writes the Detroit Free Press.

This isn't the first time that affirmative action in university admissions has been before the courts in Michigan. In a 2003 case, Grutter v. Bollinger, the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly voted to allow the universities to use affirmative action policies in their admission process.

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