California Court Upholds Affirmative Action Ban, Again
Challenge to voter-approved ban rejected
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2012 3:29 AM CDT
Demonstrators and University of California- Berkeley students protest outside of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – California's 16-year-old ban on affirmative action in the state university system has been reaffirmed by an appeals court. Proposition 209, which was passed by the state's voters in 1996 and upheld after a court challenge in 1997, bans public school from basing admissions on race or sex. Its opponents—backed by Gov. Jerry Brown—argued that the system unfairly allows universities to grant preferential treatment to groups like military veterans, athletes, and children of alumni, but cannot address racial inequality, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

"Today's ruling is good news for everyone who values fairness and equal opportunity, because Proposition 209 guarantees fair treatment for everyone, regardless of skin color, sex, or ethnic ancestry," said a lawyer who argued the case for the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation. The ban's opponents pointed to developments since 1996, including a 50% drop in the number of black and Latino freshmen at UCLA, and the US Supreme Court's 2003 decision that affirmative action could be used in college admissions. The top court is expected to address the issue again later this year. Analysts believe the case could put an end to affirmative action programs nationwide.

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Apr 3, 2012 9:04 PM CDT
I sort of have no problem with Affirmative Action for thos two groups that have suffered long historic instituitional bigotry: blacks and Native Americans. However, this nonsense of having it become a quota system, "diversity promotion", for anyone who is not a "white Christian male" is total b.s..
Apr 3, 2012 4:40 PM CDT
I applaud this decision.I have been a victim of racial favoritism and have never thought preference based on race was a good idea.
Apr 3, 2012 8:57 AM CDT
Okay, but there isn't a stupid quota for veterans and children of alumni. Racism is definitely still a problem, but the bigger problem minorities are up against regarding admission is that it is still typically the minority neighborhoods that are less educated and poorer. That's what ultimately makes it harder for them to get into a good school. Hell, it's really hard for ANYONE who doesn't have rich parents to have a fair chance at education. But if students aren't accepted based on intelligence and merit, the standards in a school are super-lowered. Affirmative action is not the way to fix the problem of inequality; help for minorities needs to start in the community.