Victory in Schuette

In 2006, Michigan voters successfully passed Proposition 2, a ballot initiative that amended the Michigan state constitution and ended the state government’s use of racial preferences in employment decisions and in higher education admission systems. Even though the initiative was passed by an overwhelming majority, a group of activists and university faculty sued the state government in an attempt to declare the new amendment unconstitutional. They asserted that the Fourteenth Amendment, which prohibits racial discrimination, in turn prohibited Michigan from passing an amendment that prohibits racial discrimination. CIR intervened in the case on behalf of Eric Russell, who applied for admission at the University Of Michigan School Of Law and was denied because of the delayed implementation of the amendment. The case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court where a plurality of Justices held that the amendment did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment. In doing so, the Supreme Court affirmed the sovereignty of Michigan voters to govern their state.