Appeals Court Forces Michigan to Restart Racist Policies
The activist group By Any Means Necessary has succeeded in returning racist college admission policies and state government hiring and contracting terms to Michigan. By Any Means Necessary pursued the lawsuit to overturn Proposal 2 knows as the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, which bans the use of race and gender preferences in state admission and hiring practices. On Friday, a federal appeals court overturned Proposal 2, saying the voter-approved measure harms minorities and is unconstitutional.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said he will make a formal request for a rehearing with the appeals court, which should keep Proposal 2 in place for the time being.
“MCRI embodies the fundamental premise of what America is all about: equal opportunity under the law,” Schuette said. “Entrance to our great universities must be based upon merit, and I will continue the fight for equality, fairness and rule of law.”
The 2006 law forced the University of Michigan and other state schools to revise their admission policies. A voter-approved ban was also added to the Michigan Constitution.. In a 2-1, 59-page decision, the judges ruled that the law (and popular Constutional change both violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
The decision would force the return of policies that discriminate in-favor of certain groups in order to achieve a certain ratio of students, employees and contractors. An argument using the 14th amendment could also be positioned to show that the groups not being discriminated for, are being discriminated against – reverse-discrimination.
Proposal 2 has withstood legal challenges before. In 2008, a federal judge in Detroit upheld the law, saying it was race-neutral.
Indeed, a law that would choose to the acceptance of a college applicant or prospective employee is biased. Forcing students and hiring policies to explicitly select candidates based on their merits would be as non-racists, non-sexist, as is possible.
Jennifer Gratz, who headed the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative ballot proposal, expects this new ruling to be overturned because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that initiatives that ban racaial preferences are constitutional.
“To me, this is the epitome of an activist court. These justices held onto this ruling for years and released it the day before the holiday weekend. They were hoping they would catch people off guard and not make the news,” said, Gratz, director of the American Civil Rights Institute, a California-based group that advocates against affirmative action.