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Affirmative Action Ban Goes to Court

Michigan's ban on using affirmative action in college admissions heads back to court Tuesday.

At issue is the decision by Michigan voters in 2006 to make illegal policies like those at University of Michigan, where officials at the time could consider race in admissions decisions.

The university argued that the policy helped build a diverse student body, but opponents countered that nonminority candidates were sometimes turned away to make room for less-qualified minority candidates.

Motions filed in the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, in Cincinnati, echo many of the same arguments lobbed before the 2006 vote as well as during an earlier appeal at the U.S. District Court, where a judge last year upheld the 2006 vote.

It may take weeks or even months for a decision by the three-judge panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court in this case that attorneys on both sides say is bound for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Two of those judges were sitting on the court when it made its decision in 2002 to uphold affirmative action in admissions at U-M Law School, a decision later supported - albeit by a slim margin - by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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