Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

U.S. Judge Lets Michigan Universities Use Affirmative Action, for Now

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

U.S. Judge Lets Michigan Universities Use Affirmative Action, for Now

Article excerpt

A federal judge has given Michigan universities a six-month extension to continue race- and gender-based admissions, hiring and financial aid, delaying the voter-approved constitutional amendment banning affirmative action that was to go into effect in late December.

A lawsuit filed by the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University sought additional time to study Proposal 2, approved by 58 percent of Michigan voters on Nov. 7. A motion signed by U.S. District Judge David Lawson on delaying implementation means the full impact of Proposal 2 won't be felt for an additional six months.

Lawson's motion essentially means that student financial aid linked to affirmative action will continue to be doled out at the three schools until July 1. Also, affirmative action will continue to be used as a basis for admitting incoming underclassmen and graduate students, up to July 1.

The NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union also weighed in, filing a separate lawsuit arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of the U.S. Constitution permits some university affirmative action, despite the state ban.

The half-year delay approved by Lawson was crafted by Gov. Jennifer Granholm, state Attorney General Mike Cox and attorneys for the three universities.

"Clearly, I'm sympathetic with the universities seeking a delay," Granholm says. "The voters have spoken. We understand that. But we're also extremely committed, as an administration, to diversity, and to fostering diversity."

The motion approved by Lawson, a member of the U. …

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