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US Supreme Court hears arguments on Mich. affirmative action law
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Supreme Court listened to arguments Tuesday on Michigan's Affirmative Action Law.
Justices will decide if Michigan's ban on considering race in college admissions is constitutional and the decision could affect similar bans nationwide.
As protestors gathered in front of the Supreme Court, justices listened to arguments over affirmative action in Michigan.
In 2006 voters in the state banned public universities from giving minorities preferential treatment for admission.
Last year a federal court ruled that ban was unconstitutional. But Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is asking the court to keep it in place.
"Its fundamentally wrong to treat people differently based on the color of your skin," says Schuette.
But with or without affirmative action Western Michigan University says they've made diversity a priority.
"We're still committed to maintaining our same admissions criteria, knowing that in addition to our criteria were committed to having as diverse a class as possible," says Christopher Tremblay with WMU.
And Tremblay says the university has become more diverse since the ban.
"We've had success because our diversity represents about 20% of our student body and that has grown since 2006."
But supporters of affirmative action point out that for Michigan schools as a whole minority enrollment has dropped since the affirmative action ban.
"So essentially you have a homogenous student body racially and that hurts all of us," says ACLU attorney Mark Rosenblum.
Five other states besides Michigan have an affirmative action ban, the court decision will also affect how they move forward.
In a conference call Tuesday afternoon Schuette says the justices were engaged, asked him and his team a lot of questions, he said he would predict that ban is upheld.
The court won't release its decision until next year.