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Supreme Court Upholds Affirmative Action Ban In College Admissions.

April 30, 2014

In a non-employment discrimination case, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of Michigan voters to determine whether racial preferences should be considered in the admissions process at state universities.  Michigan voters passed Proposition 2, banning race-based preferences in the admissions process of state universities.  In Schuette v. BAMN, the Supreme Court noted that the case was not about the constitutionality or merits of race-conscious admissions policies in higher education.  The Court has previously held that such policies are permissible under certain conditions.  This case, rather, concerned whether and in what manner state voters may choose to prohibit racial preferences in state university admissions.  The Court found that the voters have a right to enact laws as a basic exercise of democratic power, and bypass state officials unresponsive to their concerns about race-based preferences.  The exercise of this right did not inflict hurt or injury on racial minorities, which otherwise would have required redress by the courts.