University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman says the school will explore its legal options after the state's voters approved a ban on affirmative action programs that offer preferences to women and minorities. Coleman says she has questions as to whether the ban is lawful, particularly as it pertains to higher education. She said this morning she will ask the courts to allow U-M to keep using its admission system for now until the question is decided.
The chances that the university would ultimately win such litigation approach zero. Any argument that UM could make that it's unconstitutional to ban affirmative action preferences in higher education (e.g., academic freedom) would also mean that it would be unconstitutional to ban discrimination more generally in higher education, and no court is going to accept such an argument. But with clever forum shopping, the implementation of the MCRI can be delayed.
Thanks to reader Hans Bader for the link.
UPDATE: President Coleman, in the midst of lengthy remarks expressing her dedication to "diversity," added, "Of course the University of Michigan will comply with the laws of the state." Her devotion to a cause she believes just is admirable, but I think it would have been appropriate for her to recognize, even if briefly, that out of a student body of 40,000, and an alumni body of hundred thousands, there are many thousands of people of good will who disagree. The actual remarks, however, suggest that the only good member of the Michigan community is someone who supports "diversity" policies.