Law & Courts A Washington Roundup

Mich. Affirmative Action Ban Under Review By Stevens

By Andrew Trotter — January 23, 2007 1 min read

Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court last week was considering an emergency motion to suspend a Michigan law that bars the state’s universities from using affirmative action in admissions.

Several Michigan groups filed the request after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, in Cincinnati, overturned a federal district court’s injunction suspending Proposition 2, which was passed by Michigan voters in November. A three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit court said the ballot initiative was likely to be upheld.

Amid legal uncertainty, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University last month stopped considering race and gender in admissions.

The law’s opponents asked Justice Stevens to reinstate the injunction. In papers filed on Jan. 17 in Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action v. Granholm (No. 06A678), the three universities and Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm also seek the reinstatement of the injunction, contending that the abandonment of the old admissions policies was unfair to students who had applied for the fall 2007 academic term.

Papers filed by Michigan Attorney General Michael A. Cox, however, argue that the stay by the appeals court should remain in place.

A version of this article appeared in the January 24, 2007 edition of Education Week

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