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appeals court said the Michigan measure put racial minorities at a unique disadvantage. The 8 7 decision said minorities are barred from asking universities for special preferences something athletes, band members and children of alumni could still do.

The Supreme Court, however, has grown more skeptical of affirmative action since upholding it in 2003. That's largely because of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's 2006 retirement and the appointment of Justice Samuel Alito to fill her seat.

Sotomayor read parts of the dissent from the bench. She wrote that the decision was a blow to "historically marginalized groups, which rely on the federal courts to protect their constitutional rights."

The case is Schuette v. Supreme Court, No. 12 682.

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Tuesday's ruling involved different legal issues from those in past affirmative action disputes. Rather than deciding whether universities violate the rights of white students by using affirmative action programs, the court considered whether state bans on racial preferences amount to discrimination against minorities. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled Michigan's ban unconstitutional, prompting the state to appeal to Mbt Chapa Womens Shoes the Supreme Court.

Michigan is one of 10 states where race conscious admissions are barred at public institutions, by ballot initiative or other government Vans Gray And Brown

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Proposal 2, as the initiative was known, bars preferences on the basis of gender or race in public education, contracting and employment. The university admissions aspect of the law was the only part before the Supreme Court.

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Black enrollment is down about 30 percent at the University of Michigan's undergraduate and law schools since the measure took effect, according to the university's figures.

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The court had undermined its own precedents, which state that the majority cannot suppress minorities' right to participate in the political process, Sotomayor said.

Three way split on the court

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Proposal 2 was spearheaded by Jennifer Gratz, whose reverse discrimination lawsuit against Michigan became one of the two 2003 Supreme Court cases. Michigan voters approved the constitutional amendment, 58% to 42%. That measure stated public colleges Skechers Ultra 2

Affirmative action programs, first advocated in the 1960s to combat discrimination against racial minorities, have faced a backlash from conservatives in recent decades. Court rulings and action by states have chipped away at the practice.

´╗┐Supreme Court backs Michigan affirmative action ban

and universities "shall not discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin."

"This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved," Kennedy wrote. "It is about who may resolve it.


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Mbt Chapa Womens Shoes

On Tuesday, the justices in the majority were divided three ways.

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