The Supreme Court seemed prepared Tuesday to uphold a voter-approved ban on taking account of race in college admissions.
The court heard arguments over a 2006 change to the state constitution to prohibit the University of Michigan and other state schools from any consideration of race when they decide whom to admit.
The justices' focus was more on whether they could craft a narrow ruling to uphold Michigan Proposal 2 or would have to overrule earlier cases that protect minorities' rights to participate in the political process.
Affirmative action supporters say the amendment itself is a form of discrimination because of the burden they face to repeal the constitutional provision.
That argument did not appear to make much headway with the conservative justices, who have been hostile to considerations of race in education and politics in a series of cases in recent years.