Justices weigh Michigan law and race in college admissions

Matt Zalaznick's picture

Just four months after the Supreme Court largely ducked the question of whether the University of Texas may take account of race in its admissions decisions, the justices heard arguments on Tuesday about whether Michigan’s voters violated the Constitution by forbidding race-conscious admissions plans at that state’s public universities.

The new question led to a lively argument that illuminated the justices’ very different understandings of the meaning of equal protection, the workings of the political process and the value of affirmative action programs. The court appeared closely divided, with the five more conservative justices seeming generally inclined to uphold the ballot measure.

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