Congressional Black Caucus Chair Marcia L. Fudge Responds to Supreme Court Decision in the Michigan Affirmative Action Case

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) released the following statement on the United States Supreme Court decision on Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action that upheld Michigan Proposal 2, prohibiting the state’s public colleges and universities from granting preferential treatment on the basis of race in their admissions policies. Michigan Proposal 2 was approved by the state’s voters in 2006 by a margin of fifty-eight to forty-two percent:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision reinforces that preferential treatment based on privilege in our society can continue, while affirming that public policies that level the playing field for the disadvantaged are not a priority. While legacy status and geography can continue to be factors in granting college admissions in Michigan, race cannot.

“Since Proposal 2 took effect, African-American enrollment at the University of Michigan’s undergraduate and law schools has declined by 30 percent, and students of color have decried the tense racial climate on campus. Today’s ruling sets a dangerous precedent and will unlikely help either of these issues move in a more positive direction.

“Research has continually shown that structural and institutional racism are significant factors in educational achievement and economic attainment, but today’s decision overturns public policies that protect minorities against discriminatory practices. Removing these policies often result in allowing practices that benefit individuals in an unequal and unjust society to continue, at the consequence of others being shut out.

“This is another disappointing decision by the Supreme Court that removes federal protection against racial discrimination in our communities, and allows discrimination to occur more frequently on campuses across the country and in other sectors of our society.”