Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said today he will appeal a court ruling that overturned the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, which bans the use of race and gender preferences in college admissions and government hiring and contracting.

Schuette said he will make a formal request for a rehearing with the appeals court, a move that will keep the civil rights initiative — known as Proposal 2 — in place at least temporarily.

The ban, passed with 58 percent of the vote nearly five years ago, affected government hiring as well as college admissions.

“To me, this is the epitome of an activist court. These justices held onto this ruling for years and released it the day before the holiday weekend. They were hoping they would catch people off guard and not make the news,” said, Gratz, director of the American Civil Rights Institute, a California-based group that advocates against affirmative action.

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