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Federal judge delays Michigan affirmative action ban

[JURIST] US District Judge David Lawson of the Eastern District of Michigan [official website] has ruled [PDF text] that the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University can delay until July 1, 2007 implementing Proposal 2 [text], an amendment to the Michigan Constitution [PDF text] banning affirmative action [JURIST archive] in public employment, public education and state contracting. Lawson's ruling, which came in a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] filed [JURIST report] just days after the amendment's passage, gives the universities time to complete the 2006-2007 admissions cycle under current procedures. Michigan voters approved [JURIST report] the constitutional amendment Nov. 7, and it was expected to take effect later this week. The Center for Individual Rights [advocacy website] immediately criticized [press release] the ruling, and filed a motion [PDF text] seeking an emergency hearing to intervene in the lawsuit so the group can challenge Tuesday's ruling. AP has more.

In addition, a coalition of civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Detroit Branch of the NAACP [advocacy websites] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; ACLU press release] in federal court Tuesday challenging the constitutionality of Proposal 2 based on the US Supreme Court's 2003 ruling that the federal constitution permits the University of Michigan to consider race as a factor in the admissions process [JURIST symposium]. The Supreme Court upheld the University law school admissions policy [Grutter opinion text], while rejecting the more rigid undergraduate admissions system as discriminatory [Gratz opinion text]. The Detroit Free Press has more.

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