Federal Court Upholds Affirmative Action (Kind of)

Breaking news in the national debate over Affirmative Action:

A divided federal appeals court has struck down Michigan’s ban on consideration of race and gender in college admissions. (CNN)

The Michigan law, which prohibits state educational institutions from either discriminating against or giving preferential treatment to applicants based on “race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin,” was enacted by a popular referendum in 2006.  Just today, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the measure was unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment “Equal Protection” clause, specifying that it “irremissibly” burdened racial minorities.  It doesn’t appear that the court’s decision has any bearing on whether or not Affirmative Action itself is unconstitutional; rather, it ruled that the State of Michigan cannot prohibit the practice.  The full ruling is available here.

Dartmouth College’s affirmative action policy for admissions seems to be rather difficult to track down.  However, the College this year honored with its MLK Social Justice award the original architect of the College’s gender diversity initiative in the 1970s, who personally works as a consultant for schools trying to “better achieve their diversity goals;” furthermore, Dartmouth last year joined the QuestBridge program, which matches “underserved” students with universities.

— Sam A. Ticker