Supreme Court to hear challenge of Michigan's affirmative action ban

Michigan voters approved ban on affirmative action in 2006

Author: Will Jones, Local 4 Reporter, @Local4Will, wjones@wdiv.com
Published On: Oct 14 2013 10:44:49 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 14 2013 11:18:16 PM EDT
Supreme Court
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -

All eyes will be on the Supreme Court as the justices tackle affirmative action.

The high court is hearing a case challenging Michigan's ban on race-conscious admissions policies at public universities. Back in 2006 Michigan voters approved the ban known as Proposal 2.

The question goes before the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Attorney General Bill Schuette is fighting to uphold the ban after the appeals court invalidated it last year saying it was discriminatory.

"This is an important case I think will have far reaching implications across the nation," said Schuette.

Jennifer Gratz became the face of the battle against affirmative action after she sued the University of Michigan over racial preferences exactly 16 years ago. She won at the Supreme Court in 2003.

Gratz will be in back in court for the oral arguments for the latest case.

"I have been fighting for my right and everyone's right. Unlike Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton when I say everyone, I really mean everyone's right to be judged by their government without regard to their skin color," she said.

On campus at the University of Michigan, students are gearing up for the affirmative action showdown. The university's black and Hispanic student population has dropped significantly since the ban went into effect.

Robert Greenfield is a junior. He's on the board for the Black Student Union on campus. He's a supporter of affirmative action.

"If you have everyone of the same face, the same mind, the same background, you are really not serving as a hub for great minds and here there isn't that many difference faces," he said.

But the debate is over how to go about getting those difference faces on campus.