In 2003, the Supreme Court of the United States held that public universities—and the University of Michigan in particular--had a compelling reason to use race as one of many factors in their admissions processes: to reap the educational benefits of a racially diverse student body. In 2006, in response to the Supreme Court's decision, the people of Michigan approved a ballot proposal--called the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative ("MCRI")-that prohibits public universities in the state from discriminating or granting preferential treatment on the basis of race. Shortly after the MCRI was approved, a number of Michigan universities suggested that they were considering whether to use proxies for race in their admissions process in order to enroll racially diverse student bodies while circumventing the MCRI. These proxies include preferences for applicants who reside in heavily African American Detroit, applicants who are bilingual, and applicants who have lived on an Indian reservation. This Essay considers whether it is legal for the universities to use proxies for race like these in their admissions processes.
Brian T. Fitzpatrick,
Can Michigan Universities Use Proxies for Race After the Ban on Racial Preferences?,
Mich. J. Race & L.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjrl/vol13/iss1/7