Opinions clash on affirmative action ruling

Responses varied widely to the Supreme Court decision on affirmative action earlier this week.

In a 6-2 ruling, the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Michigan’s ban on affirmative action in admissions to public universities, which "effectively endorsed similar measures in seven other states" and may encourage other states to enact similar bans, according to The New York Times.

Scott Simpson, press secretary at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, told PRWeek that the Court’s decision "put the thumb on the scale against minority students" and shows "access to the middle class can be put up to a majority vote."

When access to higher education is remanded to a vote, it becomes more difficult for minority students to pursue economic mobility, Simpson added.

States such as Florida and California, which along with Michigan ban affirmative action in higher education, have seen a significant drop in the enrollment of black and Hispanic students at selective colleges and universities, the Times reported.

In an opposite view, the Center for Equal Opportunity president and general counsel Roger Clegg said the organization is "very happy" with the outcome of the case. Following the ruling, the center said in a press release that it would have been "ridiculous" to reach any other decision.

Racial discrimination is wrong "whether it’s the old-fashioned, politically incorrect kind, or the more fashionable politically correct kind," Clegg said, adding that he does not believe the ban violated the equal protection clause of the US Constitution.

The Center for Equal Opportunity has concluded in studies that there is a "huge preference" given to race in admissions, so voters must "prohibit that practice," Clegg argued.

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