Civil Rights Activists to Challenge CA Affirmative Action Ban
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The civil rights organization The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (known as BAMN) will file a lawsuit today challenging a California law that bans affirmative action in college admissions. The lawsuit contends that Proposition 209, passed in 1996, violates equal protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and says it has limited the number of non-Asian minority students at the University of California’s most selective campuses. The suit criticizes the heavy reliance on high school grades and test scores in the admissions process, pointing out that giving so much weight to these factors in admissions discriminates against and disadvantages students from schools without honors or AP programs and academic/career counseling.  The lawsuit names Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and UC President Mark G. Yudof as defendants. The suit will be filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

In 1997 the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge to Proposition 209 but George Washington, a Detroit based attorney for BAMN believes that the legal atmosphere has shifted in recent years and his case can succeed. UC Spokesman Steve Montiel said, “If this opens up another discussion, that’s well and good , but as long as Proposition 209 is the law, we’re obliged to follow it.”



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