Supreme Court Challenge to Michigan Proposition Could Void Prop 209

Prop 209, banning affirmative action in public university admissions, was passed by California voters in 1996.  The final vote count in favor was actually slightly higher than the chart here – from preliminary data shortly after the election – shows.  (54.6% yes rather than 54.5%.) 

Prop 209’s history goes back to an earlier action by the Regents banning affirmative action at UC.  (The Regents later repealed the ban but, by that time, Prop 209 took precedence and the repeal had no effect.)

The LA Times today carries a report of a challenge at the Supreme Court to a similar proposition in Michigan and indicates that a voiding of the Michigan ban would likely apply (would likely void) Prop 209.  California’s attorney general supported the challenge. [Excerpt]

California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris urged the Supreme Court on Friday to strike down a Michigan voter initiative that bans “preferential treatment” based on race in its state colleges and universities, a ruling that would likely invalidate a similar ban approved by California’s voters in 1996…For a second term in a row, the high court is set to consider a major test of affirmative action in state universities. In June, the court revived a white student’s challenge to a race-based admissions policy at the University of Texas. In October, the court will consider a constitutional challenge that comes from the opposite direction. Lawyers representing black and other minority students are contesting Michigan’s ban on affirmative action. Separately, the University of California’s president and 10 chancellors filed their own brief Friday highlighting the ban on affirmative action. “More than 15 years after Proposition 209 barred consideration of race in admissions decisions … the University of California still struggles to enroll a student body that encompasses the broad racial diversity of the state,” they said…

Full article at,0,2784755.story

You can see the action of the UC Regents banning affirmative action below: