Supreme Court to Hear Michigan Affirmative Action Cases in March. (Noteworthy News)

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON

As higher education experts predicted over the past year, the Supreme Court decided early this month that it will hear the University of Michigan's affirmative action cases and decide whether considering race as a factor in college admissions violates federal law or the Constitution.

The cases, involving the University of Michigan's undergraduate school and its law school, each include claims by prospective students who say they were discriminated against by the admissions programs because they are White. The students claim they were denied admission to the schools while minority students with lower test scores and grades were accepted.

The Supreme Court has not considered the issue of affirmative action in higher education since its landmark 1978 Bakke ruling, which allowed for the use of race as a factor in the pursuit of diversity. But a series of recent bias lawsuits at a number of universities, including the University of Georgia and the University of Washington, has prompted many higher education experts to predict and anticipate the Supreme Court's involvement, particularly after divided opinions were rendered in the Michigan cases in lower court rulings. …