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Published: Monday, 11/16/2009

Court to consider Michigan's ban against racial preferences for college admissions and government hiring


LANSING, Mich. — A federal appeals court is set to consider a lawsuit challenging Michigan's ban against racial preferences in public university admissions and government hiring.

Nineteen University of Michigan students, faculty and applicants say the 2006 anti-affirmative action ballot measure approved by voters is unconstitutional.

Critics say the constitutional amendment has created an unfair process where universities give weight to geographical diversity and legacy status but not racial identity.

Allowing race to be a factor in admissions could change only with a statewide voter initiative rather than a vote of the university's governing board.

Supporters say the law reflects the will of the people.

Arguments will be held Tuesday at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

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