We're all still waiting for the Fisher v. University of Texas shoe to drop, but SCOTUSBlog's Lyle Denniston, at Constitution Daily, says the next big affirmative action case waiting in the wings is the Michigan "Prop 2" case, decided last week by the 6th circuit. The 8-7 decision overturned Michigan's voter-approved constitutional amendment banning affirmative action. Denniston explains:
There are a number of reasons why state officials can be optimistic that the Supreme Court will hear the case, instead of bypassing it as it did with California’s ban. First, there is a direct conflict between federal appeals courts’ decisions on the issue, and that usually attracts the Supreme Court’s attention. While the justices do not grant many cases, comparatively, they are much more likely to do so when lower courts are split on a major issue.
Second, the fact that the vote was so close in the Sixth Circuit Court, and that there were seven dissenters, is a good indication that judges can definitely disagree about the issue of banning race-based public policies, including college admissions, and that resolution by the Supreme Court is necessary.
And third, the Michigan case is a logical sequel to whatever the court does in the University of Texas case, and the same justices who voted to hear that case would be highly likely to vote to grant the state’s appeal on “Proposition 2.”