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Gratz settles affirmative action admissions lawsuit with University of Michigan

[JURIST] Class action representatives Jennifer Gratz and Patrick Hamacher have settled their suit challenging the former affirmative action policies of the University of Michigan after a district judge on Wednesday issued an order [PDF text] approved the settlement terms, decertified the class, and dismissed the case. The university will pay $10,000 to Gratz and Hamacher to settle all claims. The suit, filed in 1997, alleged that the affirmative action policy of the university, which awarded extra points in the admissions calculus to minority students, was an unconstitutional violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment [LII Wex backgrounder]. The case was eventually appealed to the Supreme Court, which in 2003 rejected the system as discriminatory [Gratz opinion text]. In a separate 2003 opinion, the Supreme Court upheld the University's law school admissions policy [Grutter opinion text], which was not as rigid as the system used at the undergraduate level. AP has more.

On November 7, 2006, Michigan voters approved [JURIST report] Proposal 2 [text], an amendment to the Michigan Constitution [PDF text] banning affirmative action [JURIST news archive] in public employment, public education and state contracting. In December, a district judge ruled [PDF text; JURIST report] that the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University can delay implementing the amendment until July 1, 2007, when the current admissions cycle will have ended.

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