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Michigan affirmative action ban ruled constitutional

[JURIST] US District Judge David Lawson of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on Tuesday dismissed with prejudice [opinion, PDF] a constitutional challenge to Proposal 2 [text; JURIST news archive], an amendment to the Michigan Constitution [PDF text] banning affirmative action in public employment, public education, and state contracting. The case was a consolidation of two lawsuits filed after the approval of Proposal 2 [JURIST report] in November 2006. The first action [complaint, PDF; JURIST report] was brought by a number of advocacy groups, including By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) [advocacy website], and alleged that Proposal 2 violated the US Constitution. The second action [complaint, PDF; ACLU press release] was brought by students and advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union against state officials and Michigan public universities and colleges, alleging that Proposal 2 was unconstitutional as it applied to public colleges and universities. Lawson found that Proposal 2 was "facially neutral" regarding racial discrimination and did not violate the US Constitution. BAMN has said it will appeal the ruling [press release]. AP has more. The Detroit Free Press has local coverage.

In 2003, the US Supreme Court ruled that the federal constitution permits the University of Michigan to consider race as a factor in the admissions process [JURIST symposium], upholding the University law school admissions policy [Grutter opinion text], while rejecting the more rigid undergraduate admissions system as discriminatory [Gratz opinion text].

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