The Supreme Court in a 6-2 decision Tuesday upheld Michigan's ban against using affirmative action as a basis for admission to that state's colleges and universities. The decision was based on the assumption that the states through their ballot process could best decide this matter and not the Supreme Court.
Despite the precedence the high court set in the 2000 Presidential Election by stopping the vote count in Florida, today they asserted that the Constitution nor any court ruling gives them the right to interfere with a state's election results. Tuesday's ruling was decried by several civil rights activist and some Democrats.
Justice Elena Kagan who served as U.S. Solicitor General and worked on the case while in that role recused herself and did not vote in the ruling. On the other hand, Justice Clarence Thomas whom himself has benefited from affirmative action voted with the majority. Thomas is on the record as stating that the arguments around affirmative action are dishonest and not based on facts. He has advocated for years that the protections under the Civil Rights Acts should be abolished.
Civil Rights groups had argued that the 2006 Michigan constitutional amendment that passed as a ballot initiative had imposed burdens on racial minorities in violation of the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection. States which forbid affirmative action in their enrollment process such as Texas, Florida and California have seen a significant drop in their enrollment of black and Hispanic students.
"Our nation has come a long way in seeking to end discrimination, but our work is far from complete at a time of continued under-representation of minorities in high education and many walks of life," said Michigan Democratic Representative John Conyers, one of the senior black members of Congress.
When President George H. W. Bush said that Clarence Thomas was the most qualified person in America to sit on the Supreme Court to replace Thurgood Marshall, many Blacks felt that he would be an advocate for justice and equality just as his predecessor was. Today only proves that all the Koch brothers funded functions Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia has attended only produced the gutting of the Voting Right Act, Citizens United and now the gutting of Affirmative Action. Did I mention the selection of George W. Bush as president? The ruling in that decision was to prevent undue harm to George W. Bush. We will have to conclude that harming Al Gore and the American people was just all in a day's work.