American Association for Affirmative Action Calls Supreme Court Schuette Decision a “Missed Opportunity for 21st Century Fairness”

Association of Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action professionals issues a call to action to all who believe in equity and inclusion.

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Washington, DC (PRWEB) April 25, 2014

The American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA), an organization of equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action professionals, expressed disappointment with the decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court today. In Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action the Supreme Court overturned the decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and held that Michigan Proposal 2, outlawing race-based “preferential treatment,” was unconstitutional. The 2006 state initiative, which amends the Michigan State constitution, is one of several anti-affirmative action voter initiatives in California, Washington State, Nebraska and other states.

“The good news is that the decision does not overturn Grutter v. Bollinger, the 2003 case that upheld the limited use of race in higher education admissions. Colleges and universities may continue to consider race in pursuing the educational benefits of diversity,” said AAAA President Gregory Chambers. However, Proposal 2 places an unfair burden on those seeking to have race considered as one of many factors in university admissions compared with those seeking to have other factors considered, such as alumni status, geography, or athletics. In order to have their voices heard in the political process, proponents of racial diversity in Michigan must now take on the arduous task of overturning the constitutional amendment while those with other admissions interests can directly lobby university officials.

“The Supreme Court effectively overturned decades of precedent that limited votes by the electorate where the rights of minorities were unduly burdened” said AAAA Executive Director Shirley J. Wilcher. “The Founding Fathers warned against the ‘Tyranny of the Majority,’ when the rights of minorities may be undermined by majority voters. The role of the Supreme Court is to serve as a barrier to the unlimited actions of the electorate and this Court has abdicated its role.” James Madison wrote in Federalist Paper 51: "It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure."

The Association recently announced its 40th National Conference and Annual Meeting themed "40 Years of Affirmative Action: Envisioning the Future." The meeting is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center, 2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN on June 3 - 6, 2014. The Conference will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and host a Town Hall meeting on the association’s 40th Anniversary featuring previous AAAA presidents.

"At the conference attendees will have an opportunity to galvanize and design a proactive plan to advance an agenda for another 40 years of inclusion and opportunity because there is plenty of evidence to support that we are not living in a post racial era," said President Chambers.

The AAAA 40th National Conference and Annual Meeting is open to the press. For more information or to register for the Conference, go to http://www.aaaaconference.org.


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