ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s voter-approved ban on using race as a factor in admissions at public colleges on Tuesday.
On the Mark Reardon Show, Mizzou law professor Josh Hawley said that decision was more about upholding the democratic process rather than a statement about affirmative action.
Hawley said the case was about the fundamental right of voters to make that decision.
“The important distinction in this case that the majority of the court drew, and that seems to be persuasive, is that in this case we do not have an attempt by the voters in Michigan to target a racial minority and to disfavor them,” Hawley said.
In 2006, Michigan voters approved the ban on affirmative action at the state’s public colleges and in government contracting, according to Inside Higher Ed. The University of Michigan played a key role in the history of preserving the right of colleges to consider race as a factor for admissions.
The ban was approved by a 60 percent margin.
The University of Missouri’s four-campus system does not use race as a factor in admissions, but does believe in diversity on its campuses.
Bob Samples with the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) says if a student qualifies, they will be admitted. He adds that efforts are made to better prepare minority students in urban districts for success in college.
Of UMSL’s 17,000 students, 20 percent are African American.
At the University of Missouri-Columbia campus, 8 percent are black while Hispanic enrollment was 11.4 percent out of nearly 38,000 students.
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