Michigan, University and State, Occasion a Landmark Supreme Court Decision on Affirmative Action

The link above is to a well-written and careful discussion by Jess Bravin in the Wall Street Journal of the Supreme Court’s 6-2 decision to uphold the right of a state—in this case Michigan—to prohibit the use of explicitly race-based affirmative action at its universities.

Within Michigan, the voter initiative against using race-based affirmative action was prompted in the main by the University of Michigan’s actions.

As a professor at the University of Michigan, what I regret most is this: by going too far in the direction of formulaic affirmative action, the University of Michigan caused a backlash that may imperil the ability of the faculty and administrators at the University of Michigan to do affirmative action based on case-by-case judgments. That seems especially unfortunate to me because I think affirmative action based on case-by-case judgments is likely to strike a better balance among all the different kinds of affirmative action that might be warranted.

Here is a link to an earlier Wall Street Journal article giving some of the history of the legal battle about affirmative action in Michigan: