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October 09, 2012 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-10-09

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 7

SUPREME COURT
From Page 1
diversity, it wasn't fair when the
allocating of the remainder of the
seats included race as a factor.
"The change in Court member-
ship may well determine the out-
come in Fisher as Justice Alito,
who is expected to be firmly
opposed to affirmative action, has
replaced Justice O'Connor, who
wrote the majority opinion in
Grutter," Law Prof. Richard Lem-
pert wrote in an e-mail interview.
The two landmark cases
involving the University began
in the fall of 1997 with the admis-
sions systems for undergraduates

and the Law School. Jennifer
Gratz and Patrick Hamacher,who
were denied admissiontothe Uni-
versity as undergraduates in 1995,
claimed they were the subject of
racial discrimination due to affir-
mative action and that their rights
to equal protection under the 14th
Amendment were violated.
In 1997, Barbara Grutter, a
white applicant to the Universi-
ty's Law School, filed suit claim-
ingthat she, too, was subjected to
racial discrimination since race
was used as a predominant fac-
tor in her admissions review. She
also sued under the protections
provided bythe 14th Amendment
and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In 2003 Supreme Court drew

a careful distinction between
mechanical and holistic review
processes. The University lost
Gratz v. Bollinger, because the
Court ruled that LSA's use of a
"points based" admissions cri-
teria - in which admission can-
didates were given bonuses for
being an ethnic minority - as
unconstitutional. However, in
Grutter v. Bollinger, the court
held that the Law School's use of
race in a holistic perspective -
rather than a mechanical award-
ing of points - was permitted,
on the condition that race is to be
considered along with the aca-
demic record and other achieve-
ments of the candidate.
"In the court's view, the Uni-

versity's prior practice of 'pro-
tecting' or 'reserving' seats
for underrepresented minor-
ity applicants effectively kept
non-protected applicants from
competing for those slots," then-
Chief Justice William Rehnquist
wrote in the majority decision
from Gratz v. Bollinger, citing
policies used by the University.
"This system, the court conclud-
ed, operated as the functional
equivalent of a quota."
In the wake of the Gratz rul-
ing, the University reformed its
undergraduate admissions poli-
cies to conform to the court's
opinion.
"Make no mistake - we will
find the route that continues our

commitment to a richly diverse
student body," University Presi-
dent Mary Sue Coleman said in
2003.
In 2006, 58 percent of Michi-
gan voters elected to adopt Pro-
posal 2, which banned the use
of race as a consideration for
admissions into institutions
of higher education. Before
Grutter v. Bollinger, African-
American students comprised
more than 10 percent of the stu-
dent body. After Grutter v. Bol-
linger, black students comprised
between 7 and 8 percent of the
student body. After Proposal 2,
it fell to just more than 5 per-
cent. Today, the percentage of
African-American students on

MAGOIA ; a AkAA-HEK
campus has stabilized at about
5.5 percent.
Though Proposal 2 prevents
the Supreme Court's action
from having a direct effect on
the state of Michigan, Proposal
2 is itself under review by the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the
6th Circuit en banc - where all
of the judges will hear the case
- after a smaller subset of the
Sixth Circuit's judges ruled that
Proposal 2 was a violation of the
14th Amendment and the spirit
of Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter
v. Bollinger.
The court's final decision in
Fisher v. University of Texas is
not expected until April 2013, at
the earliest.

TREATIES
From Page 1
on the Law of the Sea, the rights
of disabled people and women's
I rights, have already been ratified
by other countries. None of them
have been passed so far, more
than a year and a half into the ses-
sion, and Keller said none of them
will likelypass this term.
Throughout the speech, Keller
was visibly frustrated with the
resistance of the Senate regarding
foreign treaties.
"Senators have a constitutional
duty to at least consider treaties
for advice and consent, and here
36 senators - over a third of the
senate - are saying they are not
going to think about any treaties
prior to next year regardless of
urgency, regardless of importance
to national security and, really,
regardless of any subject matter,"
Keller said.
Keller said his office caters to
the needs of the majority party
of the committee, in this case the
Democratic Party, and the main
senator Keller works with is the
chairman, U.S. Sen. John Kerry

(D-Mass.). Keller noted he was
speaking only for himself and that
his views did not necessarily rep-
resent the views of Kerry or other
senators.
Republican senators have
been responsible for much of the
treaty obstruction, but this par-
tially reflects their vocal constitu-
encies, Keller asserted. Seemingly
non-controversial treaties have
become subjects of public con-
demnation and attack ads, he said.
"Senators have been accused
of being anti-American for sup-
porting treaties and some have
even been compared to Osama bin
Laden for their support of trea-
ties," he said.'
Keller said an important mul-
tilateral tax agreement has been
stopped for months by a single
Republican senator. The combina-
tionofnormal Senatesluggishness
combined with current anti-treaty
sentiment means itis very difficult
to pass any treaties, he added.
According to Keller, treaties
are very complex and don't gain
senators many political points,
so they are often put on the back-
burner.
"They are fairly wonky and

don't necessarily have lots of
domestic appeal," Keller said.
Keller said the difficulty of
passing treaties is negatively
impacting the country and its
position in world politics. He says
negotiations with other coun-
tries are hurt because they point
out that we haven't ratified sev-
eral important treaties and thus
should not tell them what to do.
Keller doesn't think a short-
term solution is likely, but hopes
the importance of treaties can
become a larger part of the public
discourse that could then change
the political equation.
"There are many senators who
simply feel there are basically no
costs to opposing a treaty and that
there is a cost to supporting one,"
Keller said.
Law student Joseph Flynn said
hethoughtKeller did agood job of
explaining the difficulties of get-
ting treaties passed and felt it was
an important topic to discuss.
"He was very thorough and
very candid about the fact that
these issues do affect the direc-
tion we are moving as a country
and the ways we are perceived
internationally," Flynn said.

SACUA
From Page 1
data and research, which I think
is a value that we hold very dear-
ly," Kearfott said. "After that,
I was briefed in a very candid
manner concerning the search,
which I consider to have been
participation."
Kearfott added that she was
pleased with an outside firm
that is assisting in determining
the general counsel.
"The search firm is a firm that
is very experienced at finding
general counsels for universi-
ties, so I was pretty satisfied
with that information," Kearfott
said. "I listened very carefully
and heard a number of Univer-
sity values being put forth as
well as being looked for in the
general counsel's position."
Overall, Kearfott said she
felt there was an inclusion of
SACUA in choosing members for
the search committee.
"I can say as much as pos-
sible that I am confident that
the search committee is a good
search committee for this par-

ticular task, and I have con-
fidence given that we can't
guarantee any outcome, the
choice for general counsel will
be a good one," Kearfott said.
SACUA member Finn Larsen,
a physics professor, said process
and principle should be consid-
ered in makingthe decision.
"It's not just what happens,
it's the appearance of how it
happens," Larsen said.
Kearfott said though SACUA
can't make any changes on pre-
vious decisions, she is content
with the last-minute input she
was able to contribute to the
search committee. She added
that it is SACUAs responsibility
to campaign for the future presi-
dent search committee.
"The ultimate decision is
President Coleman's, which is
hers to make and ours to sup-
port," Kearfott said. "That said,
I think it is incumbent upon
SACUA to lobby heavily around
the issues of inclusion in the
upcoming search for president
of the University of Michigan for
which the search committee has
not yet been constituted. I think
the principle was embodied by

the particular mix of people on
the committee."
After the meeting, Kearfott
appeared visibly upset from the
discussion and was not available
for comment on the issue.
SACUA also discussed the
need to elect members to hear
grievances and appeals. Mem-
bers discussed electing internal
SACUA members or selecting
an external committee of five
members, which they ultimately
speculated would be most effec-
tive.
The appeal board is separate
from the grievance hearing
board. Karen Staller, the vice
chair of SACUA and an associ-
ate professor of social work,
summed up the possibility of
selecting a hearing board, each
member with different roles and
one focusing on appeals. Kear-
fott said she will write a propos-
al to deliver to SACUA.
SACUA has not yet imple-
mented the grievance process
completely, but agreed that once
policy is set, they need tobe eas-
ily accessible to the public in
a central location, such as the
Internet.

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