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Michigan's Attorney General supportive of Supreme Court affirmative action decision

April 22, 2014

Attorney General Bill Schuette had a press conference addressing the 6-2 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, or the voter-approved ban on affirmative action in college admissions.

Public colleges and universities in Michigan can't grant preferential treatment to any individual on the basis of race, skin, gender or ethnicity.

Schuette said it's important for all citizens to receive equal treatment under the law.

"We enshrined in our Constitution this basic concept that it's wrong, fundamentally wrong, to treat people differently based on the color of your skin, your race, your gender, your ethnicity. And today, on April 22, 2014, the United States Supreme Court heard the voices of equality and fairness and heard the voices from the citizens of Michigan expressing the concern and the will of the people enshrined in Article 1, Section 26." Schuette said.

Justices Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito, and Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged the importance of the People's democratic right to govern themselves when they wrote:"By approving Proposal 2 and thereby adding Section 26 to their state constitution, the Michigan voters exercised their privilege to enact laws as a basic exercise of their democratic power."

Schuette also said colleges and universities need to recruit students as hard as they recruit athletes.

"We recruit athletic prowess of the highest caliber in colleges and universities across the land," he said. "I think we need to put that same intensity of focus to recruiting academic brilliance across this land so that we have a diverse student population and the opportunity to go to college is within more and more peoples' grasp."

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