Schuette Launches Legal Fight to Uphold MCRI Contact:
John Sellek or Joy Yearout 517-373-8060Agency:
July 28, 2011
- Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced his appeal of a split
ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit that overturned Article
I, Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution, otherwise known as the Michigan
Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI).
embodies the fundamental premise of what America is all about: equal opportunity
under the law," said Schuette. "Entrance to our great universities must be
based upon merit. Today we will continue the fight for quality, fairness and
the rule of law."
On July 1, 2011, a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th
Circuit issued a 2-1 decision that declared Michigan's constitutional ban on
racial preferences in public education unconstitutional on the grounds it
allegedly violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
appeal the ruling through a formal request for rehearing en banc with the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. A rehearing en banc involves presenting
the case to the full court (all sixteen judges) of the 6th Circuit
for review. This process is reserved when new decisions conflict with previous
rulings, and for questions of "exceptional importance" (Federal Rules of
Appellate Procedure - 35).
to conclude that banning racial discrimination somehow perpetuates racial
discrimination. It simply defies common sense," said Schuette.
noted that the Sixth Circuit ruling conflicts with earlier rulings of the same
court in this suit, and is also in conflict with rulings by the Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals and the California Supreme Court, which upheld the nearly
identical California ban on racial and gender preferences, Prop 209.
approved by a 58% majority of Michigan voters in November, 2006. The day after
the measure was approved, several organizations filed suit to invalidate MCRI.
The measure was previously upheld in December 2006 when a separate three judge
panel from the 6th Circuit issued a preliminary ruling that
unanimously concluded the measure passed Constitutional muster.
Civil Rights Initiative will remain in force pending a final decision by the