DETROIT (AP) – The ruling that ended Michigan’s ban on affirmative action in college admissions was put on hold Friday until the U.S. Supreme Court decides to hear an appeal by the state’s attorney general.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati issued an order staying its Nov. 15 ruling that the voter-approved mandate was unconstitutional.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a petition Thursday asking the high court to review the ruling.
“The ruling is on hold until the Supreme Court says it will take the appeal,” said Joy Yearout, a spokeswoman for Schuette.
If the high court hears the appeal, the stay will remain until the Supreme Court makes a ruling. If Schuette’s appeal is denied, then the affirmative action ban is ended, she added.
In 2006, Michigan voters amended the state constitution to ban the use of race in choosing students.
In their 8-7 decision, the appeals court said the amendment 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,” Judge R. Guy Cole Jr. wrote for the majority on the appeals court.
Schuette said in his petition that the appeals court misapplied the Supreme Court’s “equal-protection precedents.”
“It is exceedingly odd to say that a statute which bars a state from discriminating … on the basis of race violates the Equal Protection Clause because it discriminates on the basis of race and sex,” Schuette wrote.
Since a 2003 Supreme Court decision, universities have been allowed to use racial preferences if they choose, though they are not compelled to do so. Michigan, Washington, Nebraska, Arizona, New Hampshire, California and Florida have banned racial preferences in admissions. Leading public universities in Texas and Georgia use a race-neutral system, though the University of Texas has maintained some use of affirmative action.
The high court recently heard arguments in a case that could change that precedent _ Abigail Fisher, a rejected white applicant, is suing the University of Texas.
“The more likely outcome is that the Supreme Court will hold onto the Michigan case until it decides the University of Texas case and then revisit it,” said Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. “The grounds are different but each involves an affirmative action program.”
Meanwhile, schools in Michigan are “in limbo” regarding some admissions policies, Henning added.
“Everything is on hold _ quite possibly until June,” he said. “You don’t want to commit to one way of doing things and then have to reverse again.”
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon