Supreme Court strikes down Affirmative Action for colleges; Michigan banned it in 2006

On Thursday, the United States Supreme Court struck down Affirmative Action in college admissions. But in Michigan, affirmative action at public universities has been banned since 2006. 

The court's conservative majority overturned admissions plans at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, the nation's oldest private and public colleges, respectively. Chief Justice John Roberts said that for too long universities have "concluded, wrongly, that the touchstone of an individual’s identity is not challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned but the color of their skin. Our constitutional history does not tolerate that choice."

Justice Clarence Thomas — the nation's second Black justice, who had long called for an end to affirmative action — wrote separately that the decision "sees the universities’ admissions policies for what they are: rudderless, race-based preferences designed to ensure a particular racial mix in their entering classes."

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in dissent that the decision "rolls back decades of precedent and momentous progress."

But in 2006, Michigan voters voted to ban the usage. 

Wayne State University Provost Mark Kornblugh said, even without affirmative action, the university has a diverse student body.

"Having a diverse staff and faculty and employees makes it possible for students of different races and different ethnic backgrounds to see themselves succeed at a university," Kornblugh said. "Our population of students is almost 20% African-American and then we have large numbers of students who are first-generation Americans or their parents were first-generation or who come with English as a second language. We’re a strikingly diverse campus with a student body."

The term used in Michigan for college admissions is ‘place not race’, which means more factors than race should be used when determining the admission of students.