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White v. Engler

White v. Engler

Federal class action challenging a Michigan college scholarship program as discriminatory.

We were co-counsel with the ACLU Fund of Michigan, the NAACP-Michigan State Conference, and MALDEF in this federal class action challenging a Michigan college scholarship program as discriminatory. The suit charges that the state’s reliance on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) test as the sole criterion for awarding scholarships discriminates against racial and ethnic minorities, as well as economically disadvantaged students. Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions in unrelated cases eviscerated plaintiffs’ disparate impact claim. As a result, plaintiffs agreed to dismiss that claim and to proceed with their intentional discrimination claim based on a “deliberate indifference” standard. Plaintiffs have completed discovery on their remaining claim. The court has not yet set a trial date. Public Justice State Coordinator Michael Pitt of Royal Oak, MI and Kary Moss of Detroit’s ACLU are co-lead counsel.  Co-counsel are Michael Steinberg of Detroit’s ACLU; Alonzo Rivas of Chicago’s MALDEF; Peggy Goldberg of Royal Oak, MI; Judith Martin of Okemos, MI; John Johnson of Detroit’s NAACP; and Public Justice’s Adele Kimmel and former Public Justice Attorney Rebecca Epstein.

Case Documents

  • Plaintiffs' opposition to defendants' motion to dismiss

    This federal class action suit charges that the State of Michigan's reliance on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) as the sole criterion for awarding scholarships discriminates against racial and ethnic minorities, as well as economically disadvantaged students. 

    U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan



    Docket: 00-CV-72882