Monday, March 25, 2013

Schuette takes MCRI fight to Supreme Court

LANSING- Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear arguments regarding his appeal of a split 8-7 en banc ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit that overturned Article I, Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution, otherwise known as the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI).  Section 26 amended the Constitution to prohibit race- and sex-based discrimination or preferential treatment in public-university admissions decisions.  The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for the case this fall. 

"The Michigan Constitution exemplifies the fundamental premise of what America is all about: equal opportunity under the law for all citizens," said Schuette.  "Entrance to our great colleges and universities must be based upon merit, and I remain optimistic moving forward in our fight for equality, fairness and rule of law at our nation’s highest court." 
On July 1, 2011, a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit issued a 2-1 decision that declared Michigan's constitutional ban on racial preferences in public education unconstitutional on the grounds it allegedly violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S.   Schuette filed a request for a rehearing en banc with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.  The rehearing was considered by fifteen judges from the 6th Circuit on March 7, 2012. Two judges recused themselves from the rehearing.

 MCRI was approved by a 58 percent majority of Michigan voters in November, 2006.  The day after the measure was approved, several organizations filed suit to invalidate MCRI.  The measure was previously upheld in December 2006 when a separate three-judge panel from the 6th Circuit issued a preliminary ruling that unanimously concluded the measure passed Constitutional muster. 


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