AirTalk for September 16, 2013

Supreme Court to hear challenge to affirmative action policy

The US Supreme Court Building is seen in


The US Supreme Court Building is seen in this March 31, 2012 photo on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

A politically charged Michigan ballot proposition that banned affirmative action will soon get its day at the Supreme Court. The 2006 Proposal 2 asked Michigan voters to prohibit race-based affirmative action in college admissions and hiring practices. The mostly white state supported the ban.

After lengthy legal battles, including a very close U.S. Sixth Circuit Court 8-7 en banc ruling overturned the ban, a hearing is slated for October 15 at the high court.  The question remains the same as most affirmative action lawsuits: does the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause guarantee greater protections for racial minorities?

If the Supreme Court rules against the Michigan ban, how could it affect California? If Justice Elena Kagan recuses herself because of a conflict of interest in arguing similar cases previously, how could it affect the fate of this case?

Joshua Thompson, Staff Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF); Thompson co-authored PLF’s amicus brief on Schuette

Joyce Schon, Attorney with Sheff, Washington & Driver, the Detroit based firm arguing this case at the Supreme Court for the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary (BAMN), et al.

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