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The End of Affirmative Action?

Policies that give preferential treatment based on race and sex are under fire in states across the country.

2:00 PM, Oct 10, 2011 • By KEVIN MOONEY
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Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) recently filed an amicus brief backing up a new BAMN legal challenge to Proposition 209 that is now before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. He also appears poised to sign off on Senate Bill 185, which would allow for universities to “consider race, gender, ethnicity and national origin, along with other relevant factors, in undergraduate and graduate admissions.” But it would seem that Gov. Brown faces a step legal climb since the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Supreme Court have already ruled in favor of Proposition 209. Moreover, Connerly has  vowed to file suit if SB 185 becomes law.

Back in Michigan Bill Schuette, the state’s attorney general, has forcefully entered the fray on behalf of MRCI, also known as Proposal 2, and  is confident the constitutional amendment will remain in effect and that the three judge panel will be overruled. He has successfully petitioned the Sixth Circuit for a rehearing en banc (in full), which he expects to take place early next year.

“The three judge panel turned the 14th Amendment upside down and inside out with an absurd ruling,” Schuette said in an interview. “Those judges are saying that it is unconstitutional to require race-neutral and gender-neutral decision-making when someone is knocking at the door of an educational institution with the ambition to further their talent and skills. We are talking about an effort to pervert the meaning of the 14th Amendment and I’m delighted we will have the full court hear the case. I like the position we are in now.”

As America becomes increasingly multi-racial, it is becoming less clear which ethnic groups are in the majority and which are in the minority, especially in California, Connerly points out. Consequently, he anticipates that the U.S. Supreme Court will continue to become more reflective of the nation’s colorblind sentiments in its jurisprudence.

“I know the opposition has this idea that it has struck pay dirt with this ruling [from the Sixth Circuit], but if this case were to go to the Supreme Court I believe would get the ruling we have long desired and that Grutter decision would be overturned,” Connerly said. I think we are on track to win this battle for colorblind policies in the fullness of time, but that’s not to say any of this will be easy. When it comes to race, nothing is surprising and nothing is unbelievable because we find there are groups out there fighting to maintain race preferences `by any means necessary,’ and with very extreme tactics.”

Kevin Mooney is an investigative reporter with the Pelican Institute for Public Policy in Louisiana.

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