What the Court Got Right, Wrong, in Michigan Case
Editorial boards weigh in on affirmative action ruling
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2014 1:15 PM CDT
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, left, standing with Jennifer Gratz, who spearheaded the affirmative action ban.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – The Supreme Court yesterday upheld Michigan's ban on affirmative action, but the debate continues outside the court. A sampling:

  • Wrong decision: The court's majority ruled that state voters were within their rights to decide that colleges can ban affirmative action policies in their admissions. But the New York Times editorial board thinks Sonia Sotomayor got it right in her dissent when she wrote that the US Constitution "places limits on what a majority of the people may do." They can't, for instance, pass laws that oppress minorities, declares the Times, and "that’s what the affirmative action ban does, by altering the political process to single out race and sex as the only factors that may not be considered in university admissions."

  • Right decision: The Washington Post editorial board doesn't agree with the ban itself, but it says the court "nevertheless made the right call in respecting voters’ prerogative to make a different judgment." Reasonable people can disagree on the matter, and "it's not surprising that many citizens are uncomfortable with policies that explicitly favor members of one race over another." Backers of affirmative action shouldn't give up, though. They just need to start developing other ways to push campus diversity.
  • Ditto: The Detroit News agrees with the latter point. "It’s no time to be complacent," write the editors. "Universities like U-M should cultivate other alternatives for boosting their diversity. For instance, they could focus more on students’ socioeconomic status." What's more, schools "could work more closely with minority students in middle and high school—helping them make sure they’re prepared for the academic challenges of college."
  • 'I am affirmative action:' Stephen Henderson of the Detroit Free Press won the Pulitzer for commentary this week, and he reflects on how affirmative action helped him in his career. As a beginner, his newspaper's parent company waived a hiring freeze for him because it wanted to boost minority presence in its newsrooms. "Opportunity, based at least in part on race, opened the door to that career. That is what affirmative action means."

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Timothy Walser
Apr 24, 2014 1:49 PM CDT
Diversity people are the majority of voters. Leftist always refer to themselves as minorities, when in fact diversity people are over 80 percent of the voting populace, both in the US and Israel. Diversity is a scheme that functions as a national victim cult. US diversity consists of the following victim cult subclasses: African Americans women queers disabled (military veterans too) jewish hispanic and latino asian (east indians too) native americans (Innuit too) Arabs and muslims are not recognized as diversity people in the US or Israel, for obvious reasons.
Apr 24, 2014 7:50 AM CDT
This is the essence of democracy; the mob rules. Liberals and progressives LOVE democracy when it meets their needs. They are not so fond of it when the mob rejects affirmative action, gay marriage, etc.
Apr 23, 2014 4:05 PM CDT
I just find it interesting that the 5 votes for were males. If you think universities are going to let those who are not white males in to the lucrative colleges of law and medicine, I really want to know where you get what you are smoking.