Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 6-2 decision to uphold Michigan’s affirmative action ban, which prevents the use of race as a factor in college admissions.
Justice Kennedy issued the Court’s opinion, joined by Justices Alito and Chief Justice Roberts. Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Breyer while concurring with the decision wrote separate opinions, as did dissenters Justices Sotomayor and Ginsberg. (Justice Kagan recused herself.)
Here’s the statement I offered to the press in response to the ruling:
Today’s decision is a green light for more states to take steps to end discriminatory racial preferences. The Court’s ruling was a strong statement in support of the people’s right to democratic self-governance, and against the detrimental spread of racial politics into all areas of American public life. Today’s ruling is also a signal that Obama administration’s dishonest use of the “race card” to advance its policy agendas may face significant skepticism in the Supreme Court.
The High Court decision overturned a November 15, 2012 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The lower court had ruled 8-7 that the affirmative action ban, which Michigan voters overwhelmingly passed in a 2006 referendum, violated the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection laws.
This is a case in which Judicial Watch took legal action, having joined with the Allied Educational Foundation (AEF) to file an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court in support of Proposition 2, Michigan’s seven-year-old ban on the use of racial preferences in college admissions.
Here’s a squib from the Judicial Watch-AEF amicus brief filed on July 1, 2013:
Among the harms caused by the Sixth Circuit’s decision are: a dangerous erosion of the people’s right to democratic self-governance; the needless further enshrinement of the intellectually impoverished concept of race into law; the perpetuation of a culture of racial and ethnic politics in American public life; and the perpetuation of racial and ethnic resentment and intolerance in American society.
Justice Scalia, in a stinging concurrence, argued that the courts must remove themselves altogether from the “dirty business of dividing the nation into racial blocs,” through an affirmative action theory that “promotes the noxious fiction that, knowing only a person’s color or ethnicity, we can be sure that he has a predetermined set of policy ‘interests,’ thus reinforcing the perception that members of the same racial group–regardless of their age, education, economic status, or the community in which they live–think alike, and share the same political interests.”
I rather like what Chief Justice Roberts wrote in a previous lawsuit involving the issue of race based preferences: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”
Let us hope this judicial wisdom continues to prevail.