ACRU Brief Says Popular Michigan State Initiative Ending Racial Preferences Is a Cure for Unintended, Bad Consequences

WASHINGTON D.C. (JULY 10, 2013)—In 2009, Michigan voters by 58 to 42 percent approved Proposal 2, a constitutional amendment that stopped preferential treatment of minorities at publicly funded institutions, including college admissions. Several racial preference groups sued, and the case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

On July 1, the ACRU submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court written by ACRU General Counsel Peter Ferrara in Bill Schuette, Attorney General of Michigan v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. The brief argues that the amendment is constitutional even if subjected to heightened scrutiny, and that there are several compelling reasons:

  1. It ends state-imposed racial classifications and thus embodies the goal of the 14th Amendment.
  2. Affirmative action targets groups, thus violating the dignity of individuals.
  3. Even with good intentions, racial preference laws can reinforce “invidious stereotypes and unconscious prejudices.”
  4. Racial classifications are inherently unjust to individuals in disfavored groups.
  5. Racial classifications stigmatize both favored and unfavored groups and thus reinforce prejudices.
  6. Such laws have the effect of promoting hostility and dividing people by race.
  7. Such laws undermine confidence in a government for all the people.
  8. In education, racial preferences harm the intended beneficiaries by mismatching performance expectations and thus increasing the odds of failure.

“Good intentions are no longer sufficient to sustain racial preference laws, which harm everyone by injecting race into what should be merit-related situations,” said ACRU Chairman and CEO Susan A. Carleson. “We hope that the Court, which has been showing a willingness to revisit governmental overreaches in certain areas, will uphold Amendment 2 and end what has become the opposite of what was intended.”

Click here to download the brief.(PDF)