In what is another in a growing number of setbacks for the liberal policy called affirmative action, the Supreme Court ruled in a 6-2 vote to uphold an amendment to the Michigan constitution banning preferential treatment based on race, gender, national origin or ethnicity. The amendment was added to Michigan’s constitution in 2006 by a statewide vote.
The decision is expected to pave the way for other states to forbid public colleges from considering minority status or gender when choosing new students, or employers from taking into account race when hiring or contracting.
There are eight states nationwide which ban affirmative action programs. California briefly considered a law which would renege on its present ban on affirmative action, but dropped the plan, leaving California as a non-affirmative action haven.
The ruling sends a clear message to opponents of racial preference programs, giving to them a push towards fighting for more states to amend their constitutions to ban affirmative action.
“The Supreme Court has made it clear that there’s no constitutional problem with banning preferential treatment… and that federal, state and local governments who want to do that can do so — and I hope that they will,” said Roger Clegg, president and general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity.
“The most important takeaway from this is that more states should do what Michigan has done,” Clegg added.