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Rule of Law

Former DOJ Lawyers Defend Colorblind Michigan

July 24th, 2013 - 6:53 am

Michigan voters decided to ban the use of race in college admissions.  Predictably, the modern civil rights industry, in vivid contrast to their predecessors a generation earlier who defended equality, sought to overturn the referendum in the courts.

A group named (whether ironically or clumsily) the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary challenged the Michigan ban on race discrimination in college admissions.  Unfortunately, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with them, and the case is now before the United States Supreme Court.

Four former Justice Department Civil Rights Division lawyers, myself included, have filed this brief through Michael F. Smith defending the ban on race discrimination in Michigan college admissions.  One snip:

One such measure that invoked the need for flexibility was Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003), in which this Court approved – though plainly did not mandate – the University of Michigan Law School’s self-proclaimed “highly individualized, holistic” review process that considered an individual’s race as a factor in admissions. But one person’s holism is another’s smokescreen and sophistry, and proponents of race-neutral admissions properly reacted to Grutter by gathering enough signatures to place Proposal 2 on the statewide November 2006 ballot via the initiative mechanism of art. XII, § 2. It passed overwhelmingly, by a 58-42 margin among nearly 4 million voters. Thus, while this Court in Grutter voiced its expectation that by 2028, “the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today,” 539 U.S. at 343, the People of Michigan, through the initiative process, brought their State to that point 22 years ahead of schedule.

 

 

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