Opening arguments begin today at the supreme court, as Michigan's ban on affirmative action takes center stage. Michigan voters approved a proposal that made it illegal for race to be used as a factor.
That happened in 2006. The question at the center of today's case is whether or not Michigan voters had the authority to make that decision. Michigan's ban on affirmative action overrides an earlier supreme court decision that allowed race to be used in college admissions, under certain circumstances. Those in favor of removing michigan's ban say it puts minority students at a disadvantage. The number of African-American and Latino students at U of M did decline after the ban was put in place. But State Attorney General Bill Schuette will argue today in defense of the ban, saying Michiganders have already made their choice.
"It's a collective expression article one, section 26 adopted by 58% percent of the citizens of our state that says it's wrong, fundamentally wrong to treat people differently based on the color of your skin, your race, gender or ethnicity. Second key important part is that we embrace, Chief Justice Roberts philosophy that said the best way to stop discrimination is to stop discriminating on the basis of race," said Bill Schuette, Michigan's Attorney General.
Eight states, including Michigan, have banned the use of race as a factor in college admission. The Supreme Court's ruling on this case could determine whether or not more states will propose similar bans in the future. Arguments begin today at one.