The Most Important Line of the Michigan Affirmative Action Case

Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided Schuette v. Bamn, which upheld Michigan's state constitutional amendment that broadly prohibited any state or local government entity within Michigan from discriminating or granting preferential treatment to any individual based upon race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.  The plurality opinion, authored by Justice Kennedy and joined by Roberts and Alito, includes the following pronouncement:

"[I]f it were deemed necessary to probe how some races define their own interest in political matters, still another beginning point would be to define individuals according to race. But in a society in which those lines are becoming more blurred, the attempt to define race based categories also raises serious questions of its own. Government action that classifies individuals on the basis of race is inherently suspect and carries the danger of perpetuating the very racial divisions the polity seeks to transcend."

Hopefully this pronouncement will carry some weight. I'm reminded of the form that I was required to fill out for my employment with the State of Illinois. It seems like giving an individual only six possible options for identifying his own race is a blatant disregard for the reality that "those lines are becoming more blurred."