Bench Memos

Victory for Michigan’s Proposal 2

By a vote of 6-2, the Supreme Court ruled today, in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, that Michigan’s Proposal 2, which prohibits state entities from granting various race-based (and other) preferences, does not violate the federal Constitution.

Justice Kennedy, joined by the Chief Justice and Justice Alito, wrote the lead opinion. Justice Scalia, joined by Justice Thomas, concurred in the judgment, as did Justice Breyer.

I’m looking forward to reading Justice Sotomayor’s dissent (joined by Justice Ginsburg) in order to learn how a mandate not to discriminate on the basis of race—a mandate, in other words, of equal treatment on the basis of race—might violate the Equal Protection Clause. (There are a couple of confused precedents; my guess is that Sotomayor happily extends them.)

Justice Kagan was recused.


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