Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

April-01-03

Supreme Court Hears Affirmative Action Case

As crowds of students and activists gathered outside of the Supreme Court today, justices heard arguments in a case challenging the University of Michigan's affirmative action policy. The Court is hearing two related cases in which white student applicants charged they were unconstitutionally denied admission because of their race: Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger. The affirmative action policy has drawn wide support from a range of groups, including high-ranking military officials, Fortune 500 companies, and the civil and women's rights community. More than 100 amicus briefs have been filed in the case, including a brief from the Bush administration siding with the students.

The students were represented by attorneys from the conservative advocacy group Center for Individual Rights, which claims that Michiganís policy of using race as a factor in admissions violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination by federally funded institutions, and/or the Constitution's 14th Amendment, which grants all citizens equal treatment under the law. The University of Michigan contends that its policy supports the creation of a diverse student body, which benefits all students, according to the Associated Press.

The Supreme Courtís last ruling regarding affirmative action, the 5-4 Bakke decision in 1978, upheld the use of race as a "plus factor" in admission but outlawed the use of "racial quotas." President Bush has consistently referred to Michiganís policy as "a quota system," mischaracterizing Michiganís more individualized policy that takes many factors into account, according to civil rights activist and lawyer Lani Guinier, writing in The Nation. "The strategy of the Administration is to 'quotify' any aspect of the admissions process that dares notice the race of applicants," Guinier says in The Nation. Two reports released last month found that alternatives to affirmative action, including the "race-neutral" policies supported by the Bush administration, are ineffective at promoting racial diversity.

Civil rights groups participated in a rally this morning at the Supreme Court, followed by a march to the Lincoln Memorial. Last night, students and community members at Howard University, a historically black university in Washington, DC, organized a rally that featured poets, scholars, activists, and policymakers speaking out for affirmative action.

Media Resources: Los Angeles Times 3/31/03; Associated Press 4/1/03; Christian Science Monitor 3/31/03; The Nation 2/10/03; Feminist Daily News Wire


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

7/30/2014 Fifth Circuit Court Rules In Favor Of Mississippi's Last Clinic - Mississippi's last remaining abortion clinic will remain open after a the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction against HB 1390, the Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at area hospitals. Had the court not upheld the lower federal's court's injunction, HB 1390 would have shuttered Jackson Women's Health Organization (JWHO), the state's only comprehensive reproductive health center. . . .
 
7/30/2014 Legislation Introduced to Establish Fair Work Scheduling Practices - Representatives George Miller (D-CA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced a bill last week that aims to protect hourly workers from scheduling abuses and allow for greater flexibility and certainty around their work schedules. The Schedules that Work Act (HR 5159) will protect employees from retaliation if they request a more flexible or stable schedule, require that retail, food service and cleaning employees receive their work schedules at least two weeks in advance, and create a process for employers to consider special scheduling requests of employees. . . .
 
7/30/2014 North Carolina Mayor Journeys 273 Miles for Medicaid Expansion - After journeying 273 miles on foot, Adam O'Neal, Republican Mayor of Belhaven, North Carolina, arrived on the lawn of the US Capitol earlier this week for a special Moral Monday gathering. . . .