Supreme Court to Consider Michigan Affirmative Action Ban

Among the orders issued by the Supreme Court this morning was a grant of certiorari in Schuette v. Michigan Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action , in which the question is whether a state ballot initiative prohibiting the consideration of race in state university admissions violates the Equal Protection Clause. The case arises from a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the so-called Michigan Civil Rights Initiative. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting en banc held 8-7 that the initiative was unconstitutional. As Lyle Denniston reports for SCOTUSBlog, the timing of the grant is something of a surprise given that the Court has yet to rule in the Fisher case, which involves a constitutional challenge to the use of race in public university admissions. Were the Court to rule that any and all use of race in admissions violates the Equal Protection Clause, there would be nothing for the Court to consider in Schuette.

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