LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - Michigan's ban on affirmative action will be center stage at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday as both sides argue this emotional issue that deals with manner in which minorities are admitted to our universities.
In 2006, Michigan voters decided to end the practice of awarding university admission points to African Americans, Hispanic and Native Americans.
Jennifer Gratz was denied entrance to the University of Michigan and she claims it was because the school awarded 20 points to minority applicants. Points she could not get--she was discriminated against because of that affirmative action.
"We have an equal protection clause in our U.S. Constitution that says all people shall be treated equally without regard to race," said Gratz. "When the point system was in place, it gave two points to the child of a former U of M student and that is not on a par with giving 20 points to blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans."
The nation's high court must decide if Michigan's ban on affirmative action under the so-called "Equal Treatment Doctrine" is consistent with the U.S. law mandating equal protection.
State Attorney General Bill Schuette says they fit. "It is wrong, fundamentally wrong, to treat people differently based on the race or color of their skin and in Michigan, we're saying the requirement of equal treatment under the Michigan Constitution is a fit with the equal protection clause in the U.S. Constitution."
Even though 58 percent of Michigan voters wanted the ban, the ACLU will tell the court, that doesn't make it legal. "We don't let the majority of people make up any law that they want that would discriminate a particular group and that's what happened here," said Kary Moss with the ACLU.
No word on when the high court will rule on which side is correct.
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