Sunday, November 18, 2012
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, in an 8-7 en banc decision, struck down Michigan's total ban on using racial preferences at state colleges and universities. In that case, the State of Michigan had enacted a categorical ban on the use of race in college admissions in 2006. The ban was immediately challenged on constitutional grounds, with the plaintiffs arguing that the ban ran afoul of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. The majority opinion struck down the ban, in part, on the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has said that race is a permissible factor to consider in college admissions. Stay tuned, however, because the Supreme Court itself is now again considering whether race-conscious admissions are permissible.