By a vote of six to two with one abstention, the Supreme Court turned down a challenge to a Michigan law that bans the implementation of affirmative action in college admissions.
The Tuesday ruling made in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action could persuade other states to preclude the consideration of race in the college admissions process. Besides Michigan, both California and Florida have implemented similar prohibitions on affirmative action. The Supreme Court’s decision paves the way for the possibility of other states to reconsider the place of affirmative action in college admissions.
This particular decision required five separate opinions, totaling 102 pages written over six months, indicating how divided the Supreme Court was regarding the role of race in college admissions. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, which stated that the Supreme Court does not need to be involved in state issues that do not target minority groups.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor ’76 dissented. Sotomayor has been vocal about affirmative action in the past, saying that it had a positive impact on her life.
Elena Kagan ’80 recused herself.