High court upholds Mich affirmative action ban - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

High court upholds Mich affirmative action ban

Posted: Updated:
  • EntertainmentMore>>

  • Mrs. Obama says 'Access Hollywood' tape led her to speak out

    Mrs. Obama says 'Access Hollywood' tape led her to speak out

    Friday, November 16 2018 4:29 AM EST2018-11-16 09:29:48 GMT
    Friday, November 16 2018 10:31 AM EST2018-11-16 15:31:28 GMT
    (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP). Former first lady Michelle Obama, left, and Tracee Ellis Ross speak at the "Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama" event at the Forum on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Inglewood, Calif.(Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP). Former first lady Michelle Obama, left, and Tracee Ellis Ross speak at the "Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama" event at the Forum on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Inglewood, Calif.
    Michelle Obama says she felt anxious before giving her emotional New Hampshire speech two years ago condemning President Donald Trump for bragging about sexually assaulting a woman. 
    Michelle Obama says she felt anxious before giving her emotional New Hampshire speech two years ago condemning President Donald Trump for bragging about sexually assaulting a woman. 
  • Serhii Plokhy wins nonfiction book prize for Chernobyl story

    Serhii Plokhy wins nonfiction book prize for Chernobyl story

    Wednesday, November 14 2018 7:44 PM EST2018-11-15 00:44:15 GMT
    Friday, November 16 2018 10:04 AM EST2018-11-16 15:04:30 GMT
    A book about the causes and consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster has won Britain's leading nonfiction literary award. 
    A book about the causes and consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster has won Britain's leading nonfiction literary award. 
  • Arkansas man pleads not guilty to threatening Don Lemon

    Arkansas man pleads not guilty to threatening Don Lemon

    Thursday, November 15 2018 7:02 PM EST2018-11-16 00:02:02 GMT
    Friday, November 16 2018 10:01 AM EST2018-11-16 15:01:53 GMT
    (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2017 file photo, CNN news anchor Don Lemon attends the 11th annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. A northern Arkansas man who al...(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2017 file photo, CNN news anchor Don Lemon attends the 11th annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. A northern Arkansas man who al...
    A northern Arkansas man who allegedly made threatening phone calls to CNN journalist Don Lemon has pleaded not guilty. 
    A northern Arkansas man who allegedly made threatening phone calls to CNN journalist Don Lemon has pleaded not guilty. 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Michigan's ban on using race as a factor in college admissions despite one justice's impassioned dissent that accused the court of wanting to wish away racial inequality.

The justices said in a 6-2 ruling that Michigan voters had the right to change their state constitution in 2006 to prohibit public colleges and universities from taking account of race in admissions decisions. The justices said that a lower federal court was wrong to set aside the change as discriminatory.

The decision bolstered similar voter-approved initiatives banning affirmative action in education in California and Washington state. A few other states have adopted laws or issued executive orders to bar race-conscious admissions policies.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said voters chose to eliminate racial preferences, presumably because such a system could give rise to race-based resentment. Kennedy said nothing in the Constitution or the court's prior cases gives judges the authority to undermine the election results.

"This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it," Kennedy said.

In dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the decision tramples on the rights of minorities, even though the amendment was adopted democratically.

"But without checks, democratically approved legislation can oppress minority groups," said Sotomayor, who read her dissent aloud in the courtroom Tuesday. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sided with Sotomayor in dissent.

Judges "ought not sit back and wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society," Sotomayor said. She is one of two justices, along with Clarence Thomas, who have acknowledged that affirmative action was a factor in their admission to Princeton University and Yale University, respectively. They both attended law school at Yale. Thomas is a staunch opponent of racial preferences.

At 58 pages, Sotomayor's dissent was longer than the combined length of the four opinions in support of the outcome.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Thomas agreed with Kennedy.

Responding to Sotomayor, Roberts said it "does more harm than good to question the openness and candor of those on either side of the debate."

Justice Elena Kagan did not take part in the case, presumably because she worked on it at an earlier stage while serving in the Justice Department.

In 2003, the Supreme Court upheld the consideration of race among many factors in college admissions in a case from Michigan.

Three years later, affirmative action opponents persuaded Michigan voters to change the state constitution to outlaw any consideration of race.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the issue was not affirmative action, but the way in which its opponents went about trying to bar it.

In its 8-7 decision, the appeals court said the provision ran afoul of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment because it presents an extraordinary burden to affirmative action supporters who would have to mount their own long, expensive campaign to repeal the constitutional provision.

Black and Latino enrollment at the University of Michigan has dropped since the ban took effect. At California's top public universities, African-Americans are a smaller share of incoming freshmen, while Latino enrollment is up slightly, but far below the state's growth in the percentage of Latino high school graduates.

The case was the court's second involving affirmative action in as many years. In June, the justices ordered lower courts to take another look at the University of Texas admissions plan in a ruling that could make it harder for public colleges to justify any use of race in admissions.

The case is Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, 12-682.

___

Follow Mark Sherman on Twitter at: @shermancourt

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KFMB-TV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.