The case, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, involves a 2006 constitutional amendment approved by Michigan voters that bans affirmative action in the state. A closely-divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit struck down the ban because, it held, affirmative action is a constitutional remedy and the ban disadvantages minorities seeking access to that remedy on account of their race in violation of equal protection.
"Unlike Fisher, this case does not deal with what is a constitutional way to promote diversity," said Joshua Civin of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. "The Sixth Circuit said the voter initiative rigged the political process to disadvantage minorities. Allowing either side to manipulate the system creates problems."