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January 18, 2007

Michigan Universities File U.S. Supreme Court Brief Over Affirmative-Action Ban

Michiganís three largest public universities have gone to the U.S. Supreme Court to seek a delay in complying with their stateís new constitutional amendment banning the use of affirmative-action preferences by public colleges and other public agencies.

In a brief submitted to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University argue that a U.S. District Court judge acted appropriately in signing off on a deal between the universities and state officials giving the institutions until the summer to change their policies.

The district courtís decision was overturned last month by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, effectively forcing the universities to comply immediately with the ban on policies that grant preferences based on race, ethnicity, or gender. The Sixth Circuitís ruling is being challenged before the Supreme Court by a Detroit-based group, the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary, commonly known as BAMN. The universities submitted their brief to the Supreme Court in connection with the BAMN challenge