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POLITICS: PennAve

Jay Carney reaffirms Obama's support for diverse classrooms after affirmative-action ruling

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Politics,White House,Barack Obama,Supreme Court,PennAve,Susan Crabtree,Affirmative Action,Law

President Obama did not have an immediate and direct reaction to Tuesday's Supreme Court ruling upholding Michigan's ban on using race as a factor in college admissions.

Instead, White House press secretary Jay Carney reaffirmed the president's support for creating a diverse classroom experience.

“I don't have a specific reaction,” Carney told reporters traveling with Obama on Air Force One to Washington state. "In an increasingly multicultural society and global economy, it is more important than ever that America's students be exposed to a wide array of ideas and perspectives to prepare them for success."

Carney also said the president has previously made clear that he opposes racial quotas for schools.

“While he opposes quotas and thinks an emphasis on universal and not race-specific programs is good policy, consider race, along with other factors, can be appropriate in certain circumstances,” he said.

The high court justices, in a 6-2 ruling said that Michigan voters had the right to change their state constitution in 2006 to prohibit public colleges and universities from considering race in admissions decisions.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said the case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be solved, instead, he said it is focused on “who may resolve it.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a 58-page dissent in which she argued that even a democratically approved legislation could oppress minority groups. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sided with Sotomayor. Justice Elena Kagan recused herself form the case, presumably because she worked on it at an earlier stage while serving in the Justice Department.

This story is based in part on wire reports.

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