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Supreme Court And Affirmative Action Essay

1617 words - 7 pages

Affirmative action has been a widely debated topic for some time. It has been used as a tool to help stop discrimination in many areas such as the workplace, education, and in government; however, some believe that the use of affirmative action is in itself, discriminatory. “Schuette v. The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action…” is a current United States Supreme Court case that is dealing with the matter. The case has been in the making for over eight years, originating from the state of Michigan in 2006 from the introduction of Proposition 2. To best understand the entirety of the case, one must take a look into the legal history of the case, starting back to just before the introduction of Proposition 2.
In order to gain an understanding of the creation and implementation of Proposition 2, one must take into account two important cases prior to the proposal. The first case, Grutter v. Bollinger, deals with a white applicant who was rejected admission to the University of Michigan’s Law School. As clarified by Rose, Grutter was a student who had been waitlisted and inevitably denied admission to the university. She sued on the grounds that the Law School admission process violated the Fourteenth Amendment by using race as a factor; however, the Court held that in fact, the Law School did not violate any Amendment (Rose3). The next case, Gratz v. Bollinger, followed the same lines only dealing with University admissions as opposed to the Law School admission process. Rose states, “…The Court rejected the University's admissions practices because the University automatically awarded points to minority applicants based solely on their race” (Rose4). In other words, the University cannot simply award points based on race when it is a point-based admission process. Justice Rehnquist explains that since the University admissions did not narrowly style their procedure solely with the purpose of achieving diversity, it was found in defiance of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. It is from winning this case that Jennifer Gratz went on to eventually serve as the executive director of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (Rose4). The results of these two cases are, as some would proclaim, the first domino in a chain of events ultimately leading to the Supreme Court case of “Schuette v. The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action…”
The voters of Michigan put the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, or MCRI, into effect. As explained by Bernstein, Michigan voters passed the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, better known as Proposition 2, into law in 2006 by a 58% to 42% margin (Bernstein1). This amendment effectively banned affirmative action within the state when dealing with higher education. The amendment explains that a public educational institution shall “not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public...

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