Washington, DC (CBS) - The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled by a 6-2 vote that Michigan voters had a right to ban affirmative action in their state via a ballot initiative.
The case, referred to Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, reviewed a 2006 Michigan ballot initiative that bans the consideration of race or sex in public education, government contracting and public employment.
The court struck down a ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which had said the Michigan initiative -- because it came in the form of a constitutional amendment -- "reordered the political process" in a way that put special burdens on racial minorities.
Justice Anthony Kennedy said voters chose to eliminate racial preferences because they deemed them unwise.
Kennedy said nothing in the Constitution or the court's prior cases gives judges the authority to undermine the election results.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor read her dissent aloud in the courtroom Tuesday. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sided with Sotomayor in dissent.