Affirmative action lawyer calls Supreme Court decision on Michigan schools 'racist'

The civil rights lawyer who argued unsuccessfully before the Supreme Court to end Michigan’s affirmative action ban repeated Sunday that the high court’s decision was “racist.”

“This is a racist decision that takes us back to an era of state’s rights,” civil rights attorney Shanta Driver told “Fox News Sunday.” “This decision cannot stand.”

The high court’s 6-2 decision Tuesday upheld a voter-approved change to the Michigan Constitution in 2006 that forbids the state's public colleges to make race, gender, ethnicity or national origin a factor in college admissions.


The basis of the case was the 1995 decision of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to reject the application of Jennifer Gratz.

Gratz, who is white, told “Fox News Sunday” that she found it “unbelievable” that a decision that prohibits race discrimination could be perceived as “racist.”

She also said she challenged the school’s decision because it was based on “skin color,” not because her enrollment application was rejected.

Driver argued that minorities typically attend under-performing schools, which put them at a disadvantage compared to students at better, suburban schools. And minority students have less power, compared to athletes or children of alumni, for example, to get accepted into universities, she said.

“The old Jim Crow [law] is now the new Jim Crow,” Driver said.