Affirmative action ruling could impact Michigan's same-sex marriage fight

Ruling by Supreme Court to keep affirmative action ban in place may cause ripple effect across US

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

DETROIT - The ruling by the Supreme Court to keep Michigan's affirmative action ban in place is expected to cause a ripple effect across the country.

Seven other states have similar laws, but because of Tuesday's ruling, more are expected to ban consideration of race in admissions and hiring.

More: Supreme Court upholds Michigan affirmative action ban

In addition, the same fight is essentially being played out over Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.

Writing the majority opinion on Michigan's ban on using race preferences for college admission, Justice Anthony Kennedy made it clear to him this case wasn't about how the issue of race preferences should be resolved but this:

"There is no authority in the Constitution of the United States or in the court's precedents for the judiciary to set aside Michigan laws that commit this policy determination to the voters," Kennedy said.

Ending those race-based preferences known as the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative was a ballot proposal that passed by a landslide in 2006.

Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage was also a ballot proposal that voters approved by 59 percent in 2004.

"I think Mr. [Bill] Schuette will be happy," said Larry Dubin, a professor of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Schuette's argument has been he's defending the Michigan Constitution and the voters by fighting a repeal of Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.

Special section: Fight over Michigan's gay marriage ban

A federal judge last month ruled in favor of an Oakland County lesbian couple who sued to overturn the ban so they could adopt each other's children.

Dubin sees the issue going to the Supremes.

"And decide once and for all whether its a matter of state's rights," said Dubin.

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