SCHUETTE V. COALITION TO DEFEND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION (U.S. SUPREME COURT, 2013)

This case involves a ballot initiative in Michigan that barred state colleges and universities from “discriminat[ing] against, or granting[ing] preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.” Lower courts interpreted this constitutional amendment to bar the use of any and all affirmative action programs. ADL filed a brief arguing that there is a difference between affirmative action programs that consider race as one of many factors in a holistic review of applicants and programs, like quotas, that impermissibly grant preferential treatment based on race. The brief urged the Supreme Court to return the case to the lower courts to decide whether the amendment bars all affirmative action programs or only those that confer preferential treatment based on race.