The U.S. Supreme Court this week hinted at a narrow ruling in Michigan's constitutional ban on Affirmative Action, while at the same time, the University of Texas' admission policy heads back to a lower court.
Several justices appeared to agree Michigan's ban did not violate minorities' equal protection rights.
“Affirmative Action is kind of on weak footing,” says Josh Blackman at South Texas College of Law. “At one point this was viewed as something that was necessary, but in recent years this has been really teetering, so its unclear what it's vitality is going forward.”
Fellow South Texas Collage of Law scholar Charles “Rocky” Rhodes says don't mistake the Michigan case with Fisher v. UT.
“The Michigan case is a ban on both preferences and discrimination on the basis of race, whereas the UT case is race being considered too much,” Rhodes tells KTRH News.
Still, both cases could have a significant impact on the future of Affirmative Action in America.
“I can't imagine any circumstances in which the UT program is upheld as it is written,” says Blackman. “The Ten Percent plan will probably be left okay, but the Affirmative Action program, the use of race, will probably not survive.”
Decisions in both cases are next expected for several months.