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On this date in 2003, the U. S. Supreme Court upheld affirmative action.
A divided Supreme Court reaffirmed colleges' right to give an edge to minority applicants to attain campus diversity but raised the threshold in hopes of ending affirmative action within 25 years. While the 5-4 decision found that the University of Michigan law school's race-based admissions system meets "a compelling government interest," the court gave a separate victory to opponents of affirmative action.
It struck down the University of Michigan's undergraduate admissions scoring system that has given Black, Hispanic, and Native American candidates extra points, saying it violates the Constitution's equal protection clause. Before resorting to affirmative action, the court also required colleges to make a "good-faith" review of race-neutral ways to attract qualified minority applicants.
President Bush, whose administration opposed Michigan's policies, said, "there are better, race-neutral ways to attract minorities to colleges, while he applauded the court "for recognizing the value of diversity on our nation's campuses."