July 1st, 2011
04:31 PM ET

Michigan ban on considering race in college admissions struck down

A divided federal appeals court has struck down Michigan's ban on consideration of race and gender in college admissions.

The issue is likely to renew the national political and legal debate over affirmative action, which the Supreme Court could be poised to resolve in coming months.

The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Friday concluded in a 2-1 ruling that the voter-approved ban on "preferential treatment" at state colleges and universities was unconstitutional, and "alters Michigan's political structure by impermissibly burdening racial minorities."

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Filed under: Civil Rights • Education • Michigan
soundoff (453 Responses)
  1. Rangel

    When are we going to get over the fact that a human being is a human being no matter what color they are? I mean we are an era of technological advances and here we sit looking at race as an issue!

    July 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • I am not Bush

      Well put! It is good to know there are still true humans around.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • tontie

      why can't it be an issue?

      July 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. someone

    Yeah, but when are we going to take control of college costs?

    July 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • dhondi

      Don't worry, I am sure college costs will be handled with all of the aplomb with which we handled skyrocketing home values.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Doug


    July 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Hades

    So let me get this right... a ban on "preferential treatment" at state colleges and universities based on race results in "impermissibly burdening racial minorities"


    So what the judges were saying is that unless miinorities get special help they face a burden that non minorities dont.

    As a minority, I find it insulting that this judge doesnt think we can make it in on our own merits.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glenn

      please say that again and again and really loud?

      July 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      You are right to feel insulted Hades. I'm sorry that you are forced to feel that way.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      Right, because it was the minority student's lack of merit that caused them to choose a high school where they had to pass through a metal detector to get in the underfunded and overcrowded school, and to dodge bullets on the way home to a family and a neighborhood with very low expectations and the idea that any kid from that neighborhood who thought themselves good enough for college based on their academic work alone (without any reference to athletics) was either full of themselves or crazy or both.

      It was also the white student's merit that caused them to choose a high school that provided them with smiling teachers, textbooks that weren't falling apart, an environment where they weren't scared of getting killed, and who went home to parents and family and neighbors who knew all along they would go to college because that is just what you do when you finish high school.

      Yeah... 100% merit.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • War919

      Hey Bruce, that is a result of the parent's merit, or lack thereof. If they had applied themselves to making a better life, then their children would not have had to go to that school with metal detectors. Oh, and if you think that only minorities have to attend such facilities, then you are out of touch. The great measure of have and have not in this day and age is not race, it is wealth.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      You are right to feel insulted. It is as though the government thinks that being a minority is a bad thing that needs special treatment to survive. I say let the GPAs, SATs, application essays, and extracurricular activities speak for themselves.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony L - Atlanta

      @Bruce you are right on the mark!! Affirmative action is not only about race but about the socialogical standard that was established for minorities in the 20's and 30's and still exist today. Minorities are still digging out of the low quality of life established by segregation and racism and the systemic prejudices that are practiced today (blacks are not as smart as whites and are lazy compared to their white counterparts). Until minorities are living in gated communities instead low income housing, until the public school systems can provide high quality education on a par with the private systems, affirmative action is a necessary equalizer to ENSURE the same opportunities exist for all.

      And for all you minorities who don't need it, stop looking at yourself and look at those who are fighting for a stable existence in their community and wish they had an opportunity at a normal life. We need to support them, not condemn them.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lauren

      The problem with race-based affirmative action is that it is not about socioeconomics, it's about race. Low income students who can't choose their school system and their communities are at a disadvantage to rich suburban kids REGARDLESS of their race. If the inequality in merit stems from the socioeconomic issues, than affirmative action should level the playing field on economic/social background NOT race.

      I was admitted to the University of Michigan before the ban and I saw the inequality first hand- A black student from my high school attended the University on substantial scholarship while a white student with a similar course load did not even though the white student's GPA was higher and at least one of the black student's parents was a successful doctor.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lauren

      * The white student didn't even get in.

      I'm not even saying that race-based affirmative action is a bad thing, just that it's not perfect and that I disagree with the argument that requiring color-blind admissions increases discrimination.

      July 2, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tom

    So... not getting favorable treatment based on the color of your skin is an impermissible burden?

    July 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Glenn

    no no no. No more special treatment. We will never get past the olde divisions if we don't get past the olde divisions. It's time to move on and let everyone get as far as talent will take them

    July 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. neptonomist sentry

    Does this mean that a dumb black guy now has to be a better student than a smart white guy if they are both applying for the same spot? If so, is that really fair?

    July 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • GooldOldDays

      No, the opposite.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. lala

    FACT: affirmative action benefits WHITE WOMEN more than any other minority group.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      And apparently the students that suffer the most from affirmative action are asian men. go figure.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • GooldOldDays

      Uh, white women are actually a MAJORITY.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Newo


      July 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. heerobya

    Apparently being a reverse-racist is OK to these judges?

    They are saying that minorities need help because they aren't as smart. If I were a minority, I'd be offended.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • mp

      No. It means that a smart minority that went to a school with metal detectors and may require remedial courses to get up to date once accepted will get in ahead of a comparably capable white student that went to the school that was not set up like a prison.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. wikiwhaaat

    in this day and age wouldnt every race be considered a minority?????

    July 1, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dave

    Okay, I guess I'm just not as intelligent as the court. In what way does removing race and gender as factors for college admissions impermissably "burden" racial minorities?? Removing those factors means everyone gets treated the same regardless of race or gender doesn't it? If I were a minority, I might be offended by the court's ruling because they've basically said that certain races and/or genders can't compete with the majority unless they're given the preferential treatment that was banned by the voters.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. CK

    ...Isn't this racism?

    July 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • mp

      what is racist is the historic reasons this law became necessary.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • War919

      A historical reason would be a "was" not an "is". Yes, things s*cked in the past, we corrected them. Time to move along.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jim

    Reverse discrimination...plain and simple. Nothing beats a good quota. Why accept on merits?

    July 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • mp

      Yes... or social justice, whichever way you want to put it.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Billy

    We do need something like this. I'm tired of everyone thats not a white male being chosen over white males for everything! IT'S RACISM AND GENDERISM TOGETHER!

    July 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      yeah, us white males are suffering sooooo badly.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • yoyo

      All minorities should be offended by this ruling and practice. It appears that they cant do anything without help- given a handicap through life.
      II know affirmative action is because minorities are more likely to be in tougher situations financially and in terms of family support (i.e. one parent). Yes that is a burden, but minorities are not the only ones facing these kinds of issues. There are plenty of white males who come from "broken homes" and live in poverty. Affirmative action completely screws over these individuals. There are millions of homeless white people in the world. Please do not discriminate based on race or gender, it's flawed.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tim


    July 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seraphim0

      Tim, did you read or simply not comprehend what was being said at ALL?

      They are saying that the BAN on considering race and gender when accepting admisions was struck down... not vice versa.

      Reading comprehension fail.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
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