On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, the latest case on affirmative action. This came just a few months after the Court published its decision in Fisher v. University of Texas. In Fisher, the question was whether race-conscious admissions policies at a public university were constitutional. The Court in effect said yes, upholding limited affirmative action and allowing the University of Texas to continue its race-conscious admissions policies.
The BBA’s amicus brief in Fisher highlighted the value of race-conscious admissions policies, and specifically focused on how they serve the legal profession by providing a diverse pipeline of undergraduate and law students.
In Schuette, the Court is considering the constitutionality of Michigan’s 2006state constitutional amendment, coming out of ballot initiative Proposal 2. This prohibits preferential treatment based on race, color, sex, ethnicity, or national origin in state college admissions, jobs, and other publicly funded institutions. In a sense, it is the reverse of Fisher – in Schuette, the question is whether the Constitution requires public universities to at least have the option of instituting race-conscious admissions policies like the University of Texas.
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