Michigan Case Proof Feds Need to Lead Affirmative Action Fight
Source Newsroom: Cornell University
Noliwe Rooks, professor of Africana Studies and human rights expert, discusses the implications of today’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.
“In many ways, the Affirmative Action case that the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in today is arguably more important than the Fisher case ruled on this past summer.
“This case focuses on the right for citizens of a state to vote to ban Affirmative Action at the state level, even while it is allowed at the federal level and asks if, given that the majority of the voters in the state are white, is it fair to decide issues of racial justice with a state-wide vote to amend the state constitution.
“In this case the rhetoric of states rights is coalescing with the fiction of the Constitution as a color-blind document and the intricacies of this case mean that we may finally have to have a more full-throated discussion of the difference between positive versus negative discrimination – in Britain affirmative action is called positive discrimination. There is a reason that the federal government has consistently been out in front of states on issues of social justice and this case shows why that needs to remain the case.”