UC proves Prop. 209’s point
Admissions records show that minorities don’t need affirmative action.
By David A. Lehrer and Joe R. Hicks
July 12, 2010
The next few weeks will see renewed interest in a 14-year-old initiative that was, in its day, among the most hotly contested California ballot measures ever, Proposition 209. It prohibits the state from discriminating against or giving preferences to anyone on the basis of “race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting.” The measure was approved 54% to 45%. It was tested in the courts, and its constitutionality was affirmed by the California Supreme Court in 2000.
But another legal challenge to 209 was mounted earlier this year, specifically to allow the University of California to use affirmative-action criteria for admissions, as it did before the proposition passed in 1996.
The author of 209, Ward Connerly, is seeking to intervene in the case because of his fear that neither the university (whose officials have, on occasion, called for the repeal of 209) nor Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown (whose office filed a brief with the California Supreme Court opining that 209 violates the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment) will vigorously defend the measure. Connerly’s motion is scheduled to be heard this month.