Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the nation’s colleges and universities must be prepared to demonstrate that all non-race-based attempts to achieve student diversity have failed before the tightly controlled use of racial preference may even be considered.
And on April 22nd, in a 6-2 decision, the Court ruled in Schuette v BAMN that Proposal 2, a constitutional amendment approved by Michigan voters that “…end[s] racial preferences in many aspects of state government,” including university admissions, does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution by denying any person the “equal protection of the law.”
In 2003, the Supreme Court decided that the practice of racial preference could continue in the admissions department at the University of Michigan. The rulings came in 2 cases that saw Justice Sandra Day O’Connor cast the deciding vote.
It was the fact of these decisions permitting reverse discrimination that prompted the people of Michigan to end racial preference by passing Proposal 2.
Writing the lead opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy explained that the case did not so much involve the question of race as “…whether and in what manner voters…may choose to prohibit the consideration of racial preference in governmental decisions.”
And it was in approving Proposal 2 that “…Michigan voters exercised their privilege to enact laws as a basic exercise of their democratic power.”
During the 60′s and 70′s, the Court developed the “political process doctrine” that “allowed courts to act where a state’s action pose[d] a risk of causing specific injuries on account of race.” Whether on not discriminatory intent was involved in a state policy, the court had given itself absolute authority, not to make certain that legislation was race neutral, but that it literally favored the interests and agenda of minorities. It was reverse racism, not simply permitted but mandated by the court.
Today, however, a Supreme Court far more likely to ground its decisions in the Constitution has ruled that affirmative action preferences are unconstitutional if used, among other things, to “promote racial balancing,” compensatory justice,” or redress “statistical inequalities.” As Justice Scalia noted in Schuette, “…if any policy was deliberately designed to benefit minorities, we would hold the policy unconstitutional.”
At last, the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause has become just that. And it has once again become the right of American citizens to determine the manner in which racial preference and other controversial issues will be resolved.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom