By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a voter referendum banning use of race in admissions at state-run universities in Michigan. Some experts believe the ruling could lead to more states taking a similar road.
Penn Law Professor Kermit Roosevelt says the Supreme Court’s ruling is narrow. He says it doesn’t address affirmative action in state college admissions, but instead leaves the choice as to whether to include race as a factor to state governments:
“You have situations where the school administrators or the trustees or whoever is directly in charge of the school think ‘hey– a good policy for us to follow would be increase diversity, let’s use an affirmative action policy,'” he says, “but that choice has been taken away from them.”
Several states, including California, have also banned affirmative action in public universities and more could follow.
“Anytime you’ve got a state that is more conservative, but has liberal college towns, schools and cities that are more liberal it’s possible,” says Roosevelt, “and Pennsylvania falls in that category.”
But Franklin and Marshall political pollster Terri Madonna says it’s unlikely in Pennsylvania, at least for now:
“Most Pennsylvania’s would favor diversity in their enrollment,” says Madonna, “as for the political climate– I didn’t see any immediate reaction, we may need to wait a couple of days to see.”
As for the impact of a ban, reports say Black and Latino enrollment is down since Michigan ended affirmative action at its public universities.