A federal appeals court has struck down Michigan’s ban on affirmative action.
In a very close 8-7 decision, the court asserted that the 2006 amendment to the Michigan constitution puts an “extraordinary burden” on opponents to the measure.
In an 8-7 decision, the court said the 2006 amendment to the Michigan Constitution is illegal because it presents an extraordinary burden to opponents who would have to mount their own long, expensive campaign through the ballot box to protect affirmative action.
That burden “undermines the Equal Protection Clause’s guarantee that all citizens ought to have equal access to the tools of political change,” said Judge R. Guy Cole Jr., writing for the majority at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.
The court said having supporters and opponents debate affirmative action through the governing boards of each public university would be much fairer than cementing a ban in the constitution, which it referred to as home of “the highest level” of public policy.
Experts say that while the decision is limited to the 6th circuit – including Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee – it makes it even likelier that the Supreme Court will get involved.
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