Michigan again at center of nation's affirmative action debate

Oct 15, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court Building, where a Michigan-based affirmative action case is heard by the nation's highest court.
Credit Rick Pluta/MPRN

For the second time in a decade, the Supreme Court of the United States will scrutinize the use of race in admissions policies at Michigan’s public universities.

Today, the Justices hear the oral arguments in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. The case focuses on Proposal 2, which is a voter-supported initiative from 2006 that bans the use of race in, among other things, admissions decisions at public universities here in Michigan. It’s considered one of the most important cases the Supreme Court is hearing this fall, and its decision could have wide-reaching effects.

Supreme Court watcher Phil Pucillo is an MSU law professor. He says he expects Attorney General Bill Schuette to emphasize that all Michigan's Proposal 2 sought to do was to remove remove race from consideration in college admissions, an argument he thinks would receive a lot a merit from the more conservative justices.