DETROIT (WWJ) – A local attorney calls it a terrible, racist ruling that he will fight.
George Washington — who represents BAMN or “By Any Means Necessary” — threatening to take aim at the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Michigan’s ban on using race as a factor in college admissions.
“We’re going to have to take the gloves off,” Washington told WWJ Newsradio 950, shortly after the justices’ ruling was announced on Tuesday. “This Supreme Court is systematically setting about undoing the gains of the Civil Rights Movement, so we’re gonna have to return to the methods of sit-ins and protests, and strikes and the things which won it in the first place.”
“We’re also going to have to demand that the University of Michigan and others schools get ride of their standardized tests,” he added.
Washington claims that those tests give preference to those who are white, rich, and went to better schools.
He said Jennifer Gratz’s belief that admissions will now be fair without affirmative action isn’t accurate.
“Ms. Gratz is just wrong. This is a system which defends privilege and what the Supreme Court has said is that the white voters of the state can deny black people or Latino people of the right to fight against that system of privilege,” he said.
Washington says that since affirmative action bans have gone into effect in Michigan and California, minority admissions have dropped by a third to a half.
Gratz, 17 years ago, filed the lawsuit when she was denied admission to the University of Michigan, believing her rejection was unfairly due to affirmative action quotas.
“This means that the people of Michigan won,” she told WWJ in a live interview. “Race preferences are indeed unconstitutional in Michigan, and the people do have a right to vote on important issues in this state.”
In the 6-2 ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy said Michigan voters chose to eliminate racial preferences, presumably because such a system could give rise to race-based resentment. Kennedy said nothing in the Constitution or the court’s prior cases gives judges the authority to undermine the election results.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said he applauds the decision, for three reasons.
“Today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court is a victory for the Constitution. Today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court is a victory for the citizens of Michigan, who overwhelmingly voted in 2006 to require equal treatment to our outstanding colleges and universities. And today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court is a victory for the rule of law.”