|July 1st, 2011, 01:21 PM||#1|
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Appointed Federal Judge finds law - enacted by popular vote - that bars consideration of race in the evaluation of college or job applicants race "harms minorities and is unconstitutional". The basis for the "unconstitutional" claim is based on an assertion that NOT considering race violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
I'm not looking to spark a bunch of moronic redneck race bashing here. This is a clear case of activitist judges (yet again) using their position to drive a far-left liberal agenda, despite the clear message from the electorate.
Court strikes down Michigan ban on race in college admissions
Jennifer Chambers and Oralandar Brand-Williams/ The Detroit News
Detroit— Michigan's ban on using race and gender as a factor in admission to public colleges and universities was overturned today by a federal appeals court, which said the voter-approved measure harms minorities and is unconstitutional.
The 2-1 decision struck down Proposal 2, the 2006 law that had forced the University of Michigan and other state schools to revise their admission policies. The judges ruled that the law violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
The court in particular objected to the inclusion of the voter-approved ban in the Michigan Constitution in its 59-page ruling.
"Proposal 2 reorders the political process in Michigan to place special burdens on minority interests," judges R. Guy Cole Jr. and Martha Craig Daughtrey said.
The ban, passed with 58 percent of the vote nearly five years ago, affected government hiring as well as college admissions.
In 2008, a federal judge in Detroit upheld the law, saying it was race-neutral.
George Washington, the chief attorney for the law's opponents, applauded the decision today.
"It's a great victory. It means affirmative action is legal again in college admissions. It means that thousands of talented black, Latino and Native Americans can go to our public universities," Washington said.
Washington said the ruling means universities can again consider and adopt affirmative action polices.
However, the ruling could be appealed, Washington said, to the U.S. Supreme Court or the entire panel of the 6th Circuit Appeals Court.
It was not immediately known if an appeal was planned.
Jennifer Gratz, who headed the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative ballot proposal, said she doesn't think the ruling is going to stand long term because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled initiatives than ban ran preferences are constitutional.
"To me, this is the epitome of an activist court. These justices held onto this ruling for years and released it the day before the holiday weekend. They were hoping they would catch people off guard and not make the news," said, Gratz, director of the American Civil Rights Institute, a California-based group that advocates against affirmative action.
Ward Connerly, a former University of California regent who was a major backer of Proposal 2 and California's similar Proposition 209, said the ruling means the people have no right to govern their own institutions.
"It's saying the people have no right to insist that everyone be treated equality. It places the ultimate decision in the hands of the university — that they are supreme ones," Connerly said by phone from California. "It's a terrible, terrible decision that will not stand."
Shanta Driver, an attorney in the firm of Scheff, Washington and Driver, which brought the lawsuit to end the ban on affirmative action, said that in light of its victory in the Michigan case, the firm will turn its attention to California. Driver said they plan to file a lawsuit in the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals in California to strike down Proposition 209.
In a statement, University of Michigan spokeswoman Kelly Cunningham said U-M "is reviewing the possible implications of the court's decision, and recognizes that there may be further legal steps as well."
Opponents of Proposal 2 blamed the measure for declines in the percentage of minorities in U-M's freshman classes in the years immediately after the ruling.
Underrepresented minorities made up 12.6 percent of freshmen in fall 2006, the last class fully admitted before the passage of Proposal 2. The proportion of Hispanic, African-American and Native-American students dropped each year afterward, falling to 9.1 percent in 2009.
However, last fall, U-M reported its minority freshman enrollment had rebounded to 10.6 percent.
Gregory Creswell of Detroit gathered signatures for Proposal 2, the ballot initiative banning race and gender in college admissions. He said today he was dismayed by the decision.
"In a free society, politicians should not determine who wins and loses in life. It should be that person based on their merits. I don't want the government being for me because of my skin color or against me," Creswell said.
The activist group By Any Means Necessary, which pursued the lawsuit to overturn Proposal 2, scheduled news conferences at 2 p.m. at the Michigan Union in Ann Arbor and 4 p.m. at 645 Griswold in Detroit to discuss the ruling. The Detroit Branch of the NAACP also scheduled a news conference at 3:30 p.m. to address the decision.
This is the Pub. Leave common sense at the door.