State Seeks to Make College Admissions Based on Merit, Not Race

Michigan’s Civil Rights Initiative known as Proposal 2 hit a snag today as Federal Courts overturned it. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced he would file an appeal the ruling. In his statement he said, “MCRI embodies the fundamental premise of what America is all about: equal opportunity under the law. Entrance to our great universities must be based upon merit, and I will continue the fight for equality, fairness and rule of law.”

 

Despite seeking equality, the Federal Appeals Court overturned the measure saying that it would be unconstitutional to minorities, violating the 14th amendment, equal protection under the law. In a 2-1 decision, they decided equal standards based on merit violated the equal protection clause and basing admissions on race, giving other groups of citizens a higher or lower status, does not violate equal protection under the law.

 

Since its passage in 2006 with nearly 60% of the vote, university admissions and government hiring had been based on a person’s own merits, rather than what genetics they had.  In 2008 it was initially upheld since it was “race-neutral.” Jennifer Gratz, who headed the proposal believes the appeal process would overturn the latest courts ruling, as the nation’s Supreme Court has ruled previously that banning race preferences is constitutional.

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