FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — March 25, 2013
United States Supreme Court Grants Review of Decision Striking Down Michigan’s Ban on Affirmative Action
Case Can Overturn California’s Proposition 209 and All State Bans on Affirmative Action
The United States Supreme Court today granted review of the Sixth Circuit’s decision striking down Michigan’s anti-affirmative action ballot proposal.
The Michigan law is identical to California’s Proposition 209 and other state affirmative action bans – if the Supreme Court upholds the Sixth Circuit decision striking down Michigan’s Proposal 2, it will reopen the door to restoring affirmative action in California and other states that have state bans on affirmative action.
BAMN will hold press conferences today at which students and other leaders will react to the decision and discuss plans for winning this case in the Supreme Court.
Shanta Driver, the National Chairperson of BAMN and one of the attorneys for BAMN in the Sixth Circuit welcomed Supreme Court review saying that “We now have the chance to strike down Michigan’s Proposal 2, California’s Proposition 209 and the other five anti-affirmative action laws that have excluded tens of thousands of black, Latino and other minority students from universities across the country.”
“The new civil rights and immigrant rights movement can restore affirmative action in California if we take to the streets, beginning with the April 10 immigrant rights march in Washington demanding full citizenship rights for all,” said Yvette Felarca, Northern California coordinator of BAMN.
“Proposition 209 and Proposal 2 ensure that admissions are by privilege, not merit,” said George Washington, the BAMN attorney who argued the case before the Sixth Circuit. “They allow every group, except racial minorities, to win admissions programs for their young people. They have cut the admission of black and Latina/o applicants at the most selective schools by one-third to one-half. They are creating a new form of separate and unequal in a nation that will soon be majority-minority.”
Michigan’s Proposal 2, which bans the consideration of any form of affirmative action, including in admissions, was passed in a racially-divided vote in November 2006. A panel of the Sixth Circuit ruled that it was unconstitutional in July 2011 and the full Sixth Circuit ruled that it was unconstitutional in November 2012.