WASHINGTON D.C. (APRIL 23, 2014) — The American Civil Rights Union, which filed a brief in the case, hailed the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-2 ruling on Tuesday upholding a Michigan constitutional amendment approved by voters that stops preferential treatment of minorities at publicly funded institutions, including colleges.
The measure, Proposal 2, was approved by a 58 to 42 percent vote in 2009.
On July 1, 2013, 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:
- It ends state-imposed racial classifications and thus embodies the goal of the 14th Amendment.
- Affirmative action targets groups, thus violating the dignity of individuals.
- Even with good intentions, racial preference laws can reinforce “invidious stereotypes and unconscious prejudices.”
- Racial classifications are inherently unjust to individuals in disfavored groups.
- Racial classifications stigmatize both favored and unfavored groups and thus reinforce prejudices.
- Such laws have the effect of promoting hostility and dividing people by race.
- Such laws undermine confidence in a government for all the people.
- In education, racial preferences harm the intended beneficiaries by mismatching performance expectations and thus increasing the odds of failure.
“This is a victory for all Americans,” said ACRU Chairman Susan A. Carleson, “While well-intentioned, laws that single out minorities for preferential treatment harm the very people that they are supposed to help. They also violate the clear meaning of the 14th Amendment, which bars discrimination based on race.”
Click here to download the brief.(PDF)