The justices will be deciding on the constitutionality of a voter referendum banning race-and sex-based discrimination and preferential treatment in public university admission decisions.
The high court is also currently deciding a challenge to admissions policies at the University of Texas that did not involve a voter referendum. Cases on this subject have always been highly controversial.
Last year, a federal appeals court decided the affirmative action ban, passed by Michigan voters in a 2006 referendum, violated the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection laws.
The New York Times reports that the Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said, the ban “ embodies the fundamental premise of what America is all about: equal opportunity under the law. Entrance to our great universities must be based upon merit.”
The Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary is expected to be decided upon in the term that starts in October.
A decision in the Texas case is expected shortly.