The United States Supreme Court has issued an Affirmative Action ruling with respect to the ability of public universities in the state of Michigan to use Affirmative Action in admissions decisions. That answer is no. With a 6-2 decision, the court upheld the Michigan constitutional amendment banning the practice. According to an article on the Affirmative Action ruling in “The New York Times,” “In five opinions spanning more than 100 pages, the justices set out starkly conflicting views. The justices in the majority, with varying degrees of vehemence, said that policies affecting minorities that do not involve intentional discrimination should ordinarily be decided at the ballot box rather than in the courtroom.”
It was Justice Sonia Sotomayor who issued the strongest of dissents. Notably, it was the longest of her tenure on the Supreme Court. She stated that the Constitution required “special vigilance” in light of America’s history of slavery and continued racial discrimination in the years that followed. According to the piece in “The New York Times,” “Justice Sotomayor seemed to mock one of Chief Justice Roberts’s most memorable lines. In a 2007 decision that limited the use of race in public school systems, he wrote, ‘The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.’ Justice Sotomayor recast the line. ‘The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race,’ she wrote, ‘is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.'” Touché.
What do you think about the ruling of the highest court in the land? Does it surprise you? Do you think this particular ruling will impact the debate on Affirmative Action in college admissions decision-making in this country? Let us know your thoughts on the topic by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!