Monday, June 23, 2003


This is a great story to wake up to.

In a slim 5 to 4 vote, the court said that the University of Michigan law school's race-conscious admissions policies were constitutional.

In a majority opinion, written by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the court found that the law school's race-conscious admissions program did not violate white students' constitutional rights to equal treatment.

The court found that the equal-protection clause under the Constitution does not prohibit the law school's "narrowly tailored use of race in admission decisions to fulfill a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body."

I'm fully awake now, and I may have jumped too soon, but it's still somewhat good news.

The court split 6-3 in finding the undergraduate program unconstitutional. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote the majority opinion in the undergraduate case, joined by O'Connor and Justices Antonin Scalia (news - web sites), Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas (news - web sites) and Stephen Breyer (news - web sites).

Justices John Paul Stevens (news - web sites), David Souter (news - web sites) and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (news - web sites) dissented.

Michigan's undergraduate admissions structure is tantamount to a quota, the majority in that case concluded. While it set no fixed target for the number of minority students who should get in, the point-based evaluation system gave minority applicants a 20-point boost.

This story is still developing. However, despite the protestations of certain conservatives, it looks like affirmative action will be sticking around for awhile. Indeed it has to. The government has wars to pursue.

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