A 2006 statewide ballot proposal in Michigan (Proposal 2) to amend the state constitution to prohibit all sexand race-based preferences
A 2006 statewide ballot proposal in Michigan (Proposal 2) to amend the state constitution to prohibit all sexand race-based preferences in public education, public employment, and public contracting passed by a margin of 58% to 42%. Accordingly, the "Affirmative Action" section of Article I of the Michigan Constitution was amended to read, in pertinent part:
(1) The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and any other public college or university, community college, or school district 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 employment, public education, or public contracting.
The amendment changed state college admissions policies in two ways. First, consideration of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin was eliminated in individualized admissions decisions. (No other admissions factors, such as grades or family connections, were affected.) Second, because Proposal 2 "entrenched" this prohibition within the state's constitution, admissions personnel could not "revisit" the issue unless the amendment was repealed or the law modified.
Various groups and individuals subsequently filed suit, alleging that Proposal 2 violated the Equal Protection Clause. Is Proposal 2 constitutional? Is it good public policy?
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