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Saturday, March 6, 2010
California Preference Ban Challenged in Bid to Thwart Similar Measures
As reportered by Color and Money author Peter Schmidt in The Chronicle of Higher Education, the lawsuit argues that the California measure, adopted by that state's voters in 1996, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by placing a distinct set of legal hurdles in front of minority groups seeking to increase their representation on the university system's campuses. The group behind the lawsuit--the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary--is seeking through the lawsuit not just to get the California measure overturned, but to raise questions about the legality of similar measures that will be on the ballot in Arizona, and perhaps Utah, this fall.
A similar legal challenge to Proposition 209 failed in 1997, but the lawyers behind the new lawsuit say the legal landscape has changed enough since then that they feel they have a good chance of prevailing this time around.