April 22, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Glenn Landstrom, 517.643.5514
Leon Drolet, 586.321.5933
SCOTUS Upholds Michigan Ban on Race Preferences
Gratz Says Decision Keeps Country Moving in the Right Direction on Equality
NATIONAL – Today, the US Supreme Court handed down its decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. The Court upheld Michigan’s constitutional ban on race and gender-based affirmative action policies. Jennifer Gratz, CEO of the XIV Foundation and the woman who spearheaded the voter initiative that banned race preferences, expected this outcome but was relieved nonetheless by the Court’s decision.
Ms. Gratz expressed optimism about the future of equality in America. “Much progress has been made over the past 15 years in challenging discriminatory policies based on race preferences and moving toward colorblind government,” Gratz stated. “Today’s ruling preserves this foundation and is a clear signal that states are moving in the right direction when they do away with policies that treat people differently based on race, gender, ethnicity or skin color.”
Nearly seven years ago in 2006, Michigan voters passed the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) by a margin of 58 to 42 percent. This initiative made it unconstitutional for the state to “discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any group or individual on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.” Seven other states have passed similar measures.
The XIV Foundation is dedicated to the principle that equal treatment is the essence of civil rights and that all people are entitled to civil rights. Jennifer Gratz challenged racial discrimination in the admissions policy at the University of Michigan and won at the U.S. Supreme Court (Gratz v. Bollinger). She spearheaded the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative and is the co-founder and CEO of the XIV Foundation.