WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is broadening its examination of affirmative action by adding a case about Michigan’s effort to ban consideration of race in college admissions.
The justices already were considering a challenge to the University of Texas program that takes account of race, among many factors, to fill remaining spots in its freshman classes. The Texas case has been argued, but not yet decided.
The court on Monday said it would add the Michigan case, which focuses on the 6-year-old voter-approved prohibition on affirmative action and the appeals court ruling that overturned the ban. The new case will be argued in the fall. A decision in the Texas case is expected by late June.
The dispute over affirmative action in Michigan has its roots in the 2003 Supreme Court decision that upheld the use of race as a factor in university admissions. That case concerned the University of Michigan law school.
In response to the court’s 5-4 decision in that case, affirmative action opponents worked to put a ballot measure in front of voters to amend the state constitution to outlaw preferential treatment on the basis of race and other factors in education, as well as government hiring and contracting. In November 2006, 58 percent of Michigan voters approved the measure.
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