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U.S. appeals court: State's affirmative action ban unconstitutional

November 15, 2012

A federal appeals court has thrown out Michigan's voter-approved ban on affirmative action in college admissions and public hiring, and Michigan's attorney general said he will take the case to the nation's highest court. 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said in yesterday's decision that the 2006 amendment to the Michigan Constitution is illegal because it presents an extraordinary burden to opponents who would have to mount their own long, expensive campaign to protect affirmative action. The court said that the burden undermines a federal right that all citizens "have equal access to the tools of political change." Soon after the decision, Attorney General Bill Schuette announced in a statement his intention to file a petition of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court within 90 days to appeal the split 8-7 en banc ruling. Michigan voters amended the constitution to ban the consideration of race in college admissions and government hiring. Proposal 2 forced the University of Michigan and other public schools to change policies. The full court in 2011 overturned a decision by one of its three-judge panels and said it would reopen the case. It has taken more than a year for the court to reach a decision. Co-defendants in the lawsuit against Proposal 2 included the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary and a collection of 36 Latino and African-American students and applicants to the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University.|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE