New CRS Report: Banning the Use of Racial Preferences in Higher Education


An interesting new report from the Congressional Research Service reviews Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, a case heading to the Supreme Court this upcoming 2013-2014 Term that will consider “whether it is constitutional for a state to ban such preferences in higher education.” As the report notes, this question is “unique” because typically cases have focused on whether institutions were allowed to use racial preferences in admissions decision.
For those that are unaware, Schuette involves “Proposal 2?, a Michigan state constitutional provision designed to prohibit preferential treatment on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, public education, or public contracting.  A federal appeals court ruled that Proposal 2’s ban on racial preferences in public education violates the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution. This decision was subsequently upheld in a divided ruling by the full court of appeals, sitting en banc, and the Supreme Court will review the case during the upcoming term.

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