In a win for affirmative action, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that the University of Michigan Law School could consider race as a factor in making admissions decisions. The 5-4 decision reversed a lower court’s ruling that found the law school’s policy to be discriminatory. Three white students who had been denied admission to the school filed the suit claiming that they had been discriminated against because of their race. The University of Michigan Law School uses race as one of several factors, including academics and economic status, to determine admission. According to the school, race must be considered in order to maintain diversity, which adds to the educational experience at the school. The Sixth Circuit sided with the school saying that, “the law school has a compelling state interest in achieving a diverse student body.” The court is now considering a separate case contesting the use of race in the University of Michigan’s undergraduate admissions.
Legal experts have speculated that the University of Michigan case could be used by the US Supreme Court to illustrate the potential boundaries of using race and affirmative action policies in university admissions. Neither party in the current case has offered comments.
Media Resources: Reuters, 5/14/02; Associated Press, 5/14/02
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .